Insurance Insight: Long-term care issues should be discussed

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2002


We would not think of taking a trip without a spare tire for our vehicle.

It is called planning ahead – just in case. What about looking down life’s road?

One area to consider could be preparing for unexpected expenses should you ever need in-home care, nursing home care, or other such assistance.

When planning for the future, we want to be prepared.

That is why it is important to consider insurance coverage for these possibilities.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care is the assistance you may need if you are no longer able to care for yourself.

This is often the case with people who need help in activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating or dressing.

A person may require in-home care or stays at assisted living facilities or at nursing homes.

Long-term care insurance provides financial help for those costs, which are substantial.

Who will need it?

According to the Duke University Long-Term Care Resources Program, 20 percent of people 65 years or over will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime.

That is 1 in 5.

Who will pay?

There is a common misconception that Medicare or health insurance will pay for the costs of long-term care.

But they often do not cover these expenses.

Many turn to their families for financial help, but with the rising costs of long-term care, your children or spouse could find themselves in a difficult financial situation.

Long-term care insurance can be tailored to an individual’s needs. Although an uncomfortable subject, it is important to talk to your loved ones about the financial resources available should long-term care needs ever arise.

See your agent or insurer to learn more about long-term care insurance, and whether it might help meet some of your protection needs.

MIKE WILLIAMS is a State Farm insurance agent with an office in LaPlace.