Caregiver Services and Long-Term Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

February 15, 2022

Over half of all seniors require long-term care services by the time they turn 65. While there are multiple options for long-term care, adjusting to the bills and expenses of long-term care can be overwhelming.

Many people are surprised to learn that health or medical insurance does not cover in home care, even if such services are recommended by a doctor. Keep reading to learn about long-term insurance and how we can help.

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term insurance is much different than traditional insurance. While traditional insurance covers medical expenses, long-term insurance does not. 

Instead, long-term care insurance is beneficial to those who need home health care and home care. 

Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care

Unfortunately, the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences.

Home health care is the medical necessities needed for seniors, adults with chronic illnesses, or someone recovering from surgery. They will likely need regular physical therapy, RN, or other prescribed services.

On the other hand, home care supports the daily operations of a loved one. For example, a caregiver helps them dress, prepare breakfast, and offer companionship. 

Caregiver Services Covered by Long-Term Insurance

As with any other insurance, long-term insurance has different premiums and coverage. While a lower premium may save you money at first, expenses can add up, emergencies can happen, and unforeseen care might be necessary later on. 

It is important to note that individuals should apply for long-term insurance before reaching a certain age. Those who wait until they need it are less likely to qualify for long-term insurance. 

While coverage differs with each premium, long-term insurance usually covers the following categories:  

Live-In Care or End-Of-Life Care

Caregivers assist in daily living, as mentioned above. This is called ADL and includes support in toileting, hygiene, and increasing the comfort of a senior confined to their bed. 

They assist the senior in shifting, lifting in and out of bed, and more. 

Personal care is beneficial to seniors who are no longer mobile or require assistance in moving around. 

Home Care or Companion Care

This branch of caregiving includes light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation assistance, and more. 

Seniors who are unable or unwilling to drive will benefit from this care, as well as those who have trouble standing for long periods of time. 

While personal care is designed for those who need day-to-day help, homemaker caregivers can assist either once a week, several times a week, or on a daily basis. This will depend on the number of household chores that your loved one is no longer able to perform.

Home Health Care or Certified Nursing Assistants

As mentioned above, home health care assists in the senior’s health, while the other two caregiving services primarily deal with day-to-day living.

While regular prescribed appointments such as physical or occupational therapy, registered nurses, and other medical assistance are covered, the use of medications might require a different plan. 

Who is eligible for Long-Term Care Insurance?

It is best to look for long-term insurance before it is necessary. People in their 50s, for instance, who plan ahead are more likely to be eligible for long-term insurance than those who are in their 70s.

Individuals who wait until they require continuous care or who have reached a certain age are less likely to qualify for long-term insurance. Often, insurance companies require medical underwriting to see if they qualify for insurance. When it is clear to the insurance company that the patient requires extensive care, they are reluctant to accept you as a client.

Seniors who prefer to age in the comfort of home may utilize long-term care benefits to pay for the in-home care services provided by professionals, such as a home health aide or nurse. Some insurers will also reimburse the costs associated with hiring an informal in-home caregiver.

Long-term insurance benefits are designed to give a senior with a disability or chronic condition the option to receive care at home instead of a nursing home or adult day care.

Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance

Medical care is expensive, regardless of what that care specifically involves. Bills add up, and before anyone realizes it, the family is in a tremendous amount of debt.

While insurance is not cheap either, it can help alleviate some costs. The rates for long-term care insurance depend on several factors, such as your age, gender, and the premium you choose. As your age increases, so will your premium. This is mainly due to the fact that with age comes more health problems.

Long-term care insurance might be more expensive for women, since they statistically tend to live longer. Additionally, if you are single, the price might be higher.

Altogether, the average cost of long-term care insurance is around $3,500 a year for a couple in their 50s, according to a 2020 price index survey of leading insurers conducted by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). However, this price is set to increase each year due to inflation and the age of the holder. 

Just Like Family strive to refer the highest quality caregivers and nurses for a very competitive price. Rates are based on the type of services you require, the hours needed, and the rate requested by the caregiver who is providing the services to you.

Just Like Family is here to help

Most long-term care insurance will cover the types of services rendered by registered caregiver. Each company policy varies and Just Like Family staff can assist our clients in navigating the specifics of their particular policy. We can provide any documentation needed to start your policy benefits and to keep them going.  Contact us today to learn more.