70% of people over 65 will need long-term care in their life. One area that gets overlooked in the estate planning process is long-term care insurance.
Working with a trust and estates attorney in Northwest Iowa is an excellent way to prepare for the future and to protect the assets you want to pass on to your loved ones after you’re gone. A dedicated trusts and estates lawyer or long-term care planning specialist in Northwest Iowa will be able to offer you valuable advice, not only on setting up a will or trust, but also on creating other important documents, such as medical directives and powers of attorney.
However, one area that often gets overlooked in the estate planning process is long-term care insurance. People have a variety of reasons for overlooking long-term care insurance:
- I’m too young to think about long-term care (whether you’re 40, 50, 60, or more)
- I already have medical insurance, isn’t that good enough?
- I don’t want the added expense of long-term care insurance
- I have enough money set aside for nursing home or other long-term care. (or do you?)
Some or all of these justifications may be true, but it may still make sense to at least discuss the risks with your Northwest Iowa trust and estates attorney.
For example, were you aware that it’s estimated that 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some kind of long-term care in their life? Also, how confident are you that your health insurance will pay for long-term care? You will definitely want to double-check that since Medicare and most private health insurance plans don’t cover most long-term care services.
Keep in mind, too: long-term care isn’t just for the elderly. Many younger people involved in accidents or who are diagnosed with a particular disease or illness will also require long-term care. In many cases, this type of care will take place in a hospital or rehabilitation center, and it’s important to know where the money will come from to pay the expenses.
Of course, that’s not to say that everyone needs long-term care insurance. Again, a long-term care planning lawyer can help you assess your risks and determine the right course of action.
What Long-Term Care Insurance Does
Long-term care insurance is certainly beneficial in paying for nursing home expenses, but it doesn’t necessarily exclude other types of care settings. Depending on the policy, it may be used to pay for in-home care, for example, or to help with the costs of adult day care or assisted living facilities.
Basically, long-term care insurance comes into play when an individual has lost the ability to take care of two or more of their own daily activities. These are usually defined as:
There are some other impairments which can trigger the need for long-term care, even if the person involved is still able to function in all of the ways listed above. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s may still require long-term care, even if he or she is able to perform all six of the daily activities.
Of course, long-term care isn’t just about daily activities. It can also be used to pay for health care and rehab costs that are recommended by a physician. Physical or speech therapy may be covered, as well as the need for professional care by a registered nurse.
Your long-term care planning expert in Northwest Iowa will work with you to help answer the most important questions in purchasing a long-term care insurance product.