Any retirees have any thoughts on purchasing insurance to pay for nursing home care in ones later years ?One might want to put money into a good growth fund that would generate monies to pay for the yearly premiums. Just wondering what others are thinking.
I think long-term care insurance is extremely important and have recently been trying to find out more about such policies and their costs. If anybody has some links I'd appreciate knowing about them.Many people are under the impression that nursing home care is covered by Medicare, which it's not(I think I heard that it will cover up to a maximum of 90 days). And Medicaid will pay for it only after an individual's personal funds have been depleted. And at $40,000 to $80,000 a year for nursing home care, obviously a few years of care can easily wipe out most people's savings, no matter how good your growth funds are. Suzanne
According to a study made by the Department of Health and Human Services only 25 of those over 65 will enter a nursing home. Of these about 2.5 will be there for three years or more. While there is a risk of long term nursing home care it is less than the insurance agents would have you believe. When I brought this up with my broker he said that out over a thousand accounts that he supervised he did not remember of any one running out of monety because of the nursing home costs. The study said the average stay was 408 days.Since this data is everal years old an up to date inquiry from DHHS might be in order
While dealing with an eldercare lawyer last year, I was given the figures. From memory for each 100 people going into a nursing home on medicare (from a hospital) only 10% use up the 90 day medicare limit.The vast majority, get well enough to return home. The next biggest group die. A few transfer to another type of facility (hospital, assisted living, etc.)
Excuse me, TwoCybers, but I think you were given incomplete information...If you take into consideration the number of people who actually enter a nursing home & add the number who require some assistance in their own home, there is a meaningful number of people affected (I don't remember the statistic).Besides, you mentioned the 90 day Medicare limit - that only applies to those people who require "24 hour skilled nursing care" - most nursinf home residents do not require it, but rather some form of custodial care, which is not covered by Medicare.Call your state Insurance Department for some basic factual information about Medicare & nursing home care. Good luck! Regards, PP
I have known very few people who have actually gone into a nursing home for more than a few months. I looked into Long Term Care insurance and decided that it was probably something I really did not need. It also seemed rather expensive for something I probably will not need. Since most of life is a gamble, I hope I can assume this added risk into my retirement plans without adding insurance.I would be interested in seeing some statistics on nursing home residence times, especially if they come from some source other than the insurance companies.
Good point, JD! Why not call a few nursing homes in your area and ask about "average" residency. Also ask about private pay clients vs. Medicaid, etc. I'd be interested in the info...Regards, PP
Any retirees have any thoughts on purchasing insurance to pay for nursing home care in ones later years ?After receiving info from Medicare for regular health insurance, I sent for long term insurance info from AARP.Most of us know the insurance is for custodial care dealing with dressing, bathing, eating, etc. There are six daily living activities -- to qualify for benefits you must need help (be unable to perform) any two.AARP's insurer (Metlife) has three plans: Basic, Choice and Select. Premiums increase with each step up.At 64 my costs would be (depending on which plan I might choose) $35.16, $93.94 or $119.68 per month.The lowest cost plan excludes care in the home, the others provide for care in the home. As the premiums increase, the maximum dollar payable increases from $87000.00 to $160000.00 to "no limit".If I wait until I am 69 to select a plan, the costs go up by $22.08, $53.24 or $65.56 per month.Statistically, the info from the NAIC says of those who live to age 65, 1 in 3 will spend 3 months in a nursing home.Only one in four will spend 1 year or more in a home.In other words, 2 out of 3 people who turned 65 in 1990, will either never spend any time in a nursing home or will spend less than 3 months in one.(This is a direct copy of the info I received from the NatlAssn of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). I guess you have to make an assessment of your health, income and objectives for retirement. Life is a gamble but we have family health histories, statistics and our own little signals to go by.The obvious alternative to insurance is to develop an investment plan of some type that fits your individual needs. I do not think we should forget the insurers develop plans to make money as well as to provide protection.H.
I first learned about long-term health care in an excellent book called "You've Earned It, Don't Lose It: Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire" by Suze Orman (the popular financial author). You might want to check it out...of the library, of course.Suzanne
I posted about this on another board, but thought I would pass this on. I retired at age 56, and was lucky enough to get in CALPERS program, at age 55: w/lifetime; unlimited $ amt.; comprehensive: covers hospital, nursing home, home-care help; inflation-protected, benefits.Recently got letter that said all my benefits have gone up 5% (year anniversary). My cost for this is $104 a month.Expensive yes, but my thinking is that "STUFF HAPPENS!"- falls, automobile accidents, etc., a lot of stuff might happen before you might need this for 'old-age' coverage.My cost will undoubtedly go up at some point, but if it remained the same, I would have paid in $25,000 for 20-year period, which gets me to age 76.Also, if you're paying your own way, you have some leeway as to where you go & can pick and choose a good facility. Medicare and Medicaid programs put you where they have an opening in your area, and whatever facility you get placed in, is up to them; you have very little input as to changing facilities if you don't like it there.Also, besides my hospital, nursing-home coverage, keep in mind the option of home-care help. If you don't have friends and relatives in your area, who can just drop everything to come help you out, several times during the day (from early morning, until late at night), you NEED home-care help.I sleep better at night knowing I have this. Hope I never have to use it, but it's a choice I made, to also protect my portfolio in a 'Just In Case' mode.
You consider $194 p/m expensive?I pay $556 p/m for my wife and myself, up from $466 ly.And it took us a year to find this Co. in Fla. Most Co's want you to work at least 15 hours per week which I refuse to do.
Whoops I meant $104----not $194
<<I retired at age 56, and was lucky enough to get in CALPERS program, at age 55: w/lifetime; unlimited $ amt.; comprehensive: covers hospital, nursing home, home-care help; inflation-protected, benefits. Recently got letter that said all my benefits have gone up 5% (year anniversary). My cost for this is $104 a month.>Could you tell us more about CALPERS...I've never heard of it.Thanks, Suzanne
CALPERS is the California Pension Plan group, and their insurance policies are only for people who have been public service employees in California, although from my understanding, the long-term insurance can be obtained (if a person has it) also by their parents, no matter where they live.One other thing I neglected to put in my other post, was, not only is cost of policy decided by your age at time of sign-up; but at a younger age, you usually don't have any medical problems, that will prevent you from getting it.
I have known,and still know, a number of people who have gone into nursing homes for years. I have also had the educational but sad experience of watching over and looking after a relative who had to spend down until she was on Medicaid. She was allowed $40. a month by the state of Maryland for all her personal needs. I am extremely pleased with the policy I bought from Penn Treaty after reading about them in a Consumer Reports article on long term care--I think it was Oct.l997. I think I will be able to afford the premium until I die or until I need the insurance, AND I feel much more secure knowing that any care I may need, in or out of an institution, probably will not bankrupt me.
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