By Colleen Van Horn, RN, BSN, PHN, CCM
In recent columns, we have noted the rising population of soon-to-be retired baby boomers – many of whom are struggling to boost their savings in anticipation of the need for chronic care. According to a recent report from
, the combination of greater life expectancy and the prevalence of conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is making
insurance a necessity for aging individuals. As in many parts of the country, elder care in San Diego can be costly. But is long-term care insurance the best option?
What is long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance is designed to provide a safety net for elder care costs not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. However, while such care is necessary for approximately 60% of the population, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, high premium payments can make the purchase of long-term care insurance a challenge. Depending on where and how they choose to access care, individuals can end up paying upwards of $10,000 per month for elder assistance and medical attention; and while insurance does significantly reduce these monthly costs, it also necessitates high and frequent payments in the form of monthly premiums.
Alternative health care options
Despite high premium costs, many retirees choose to purchase long-term care insurance because they don’t want to end up in a nursing home. In fact, according to a recent AARP study, 90% of those polled over the age of 65 said that they would prefer to stay in their own homes and would not want to relocate to an assisted living facility. Long-term care insurance – or smart savings – can both provide for in-home care as an alternative to assisted living. However, this option also frequently requires the cooperation of friends and family members; and many insurance policies prohibit the compensation of family as opposed to licensed medical professionals.
Ultimately, the decision to purchase long-term care insurance should be based on each individual’s needs and priorities. Health concerns, family relationships, living space logistics, financial considerations and quality of life should all factor in to the planning process.
, we provide professional advice for
– either with our own geriatric care managers, friends and family members, community resources, assisted living facilities or a combination thereof. Get in touch today for an individualized consultation: our experienced elder care advisors will assess your unique situation and help you determine the best possible plan for optimal affordability and quality of life. To learn more, visit us online today: