Long-term Care Insurance: Is it Worth It?

More employers are adding options for long-term care insurance to their employee benefits packages. As the average age of our nation’s population increases and life spans extend longer, the U.S. is seeing a growing need for long-term care. Most people forget to plan their health care coverage past retirement, and health plans like Medicare and private health insurance plans typically do not cover expenses for ongoing chronic care, such as nursing homes or a home health aide. Because some types of long-term care require skilled help, it is rarely covered by regular health policies.

Let’s look at this hypothetical example. Betty is a retired, independent 80-year-old living alone and depends on health care coverage through Medicaid. After experiencing a fall and breaking her hip, she has to stay in an assisted living facility for six months until she is fully rehabilitated. The cost of the facility is $4,000 per month. Her Medicaid coverage may pay for the services and care she receives but not the room and board at the assisted living facility. Because she’s retired, she’s been living on a fixed income and is at risk of depleting her savings to afford living at the facility. With long-term care insurance, Betty would have the necessary funds to cover her stay, and she would not have to tap into her savings.

So, what is long-term care insurance? Long-term care insurance plans help offset costs in the future for nonmedical and medical care services if you’re unable to independently care for yourself – physically or mentally. It helps cover care for those who require assistance performing daily activities or need assistance due to cognitive impairment from accident, illness or advanced age. Such plans help with costs for care given to patients at home or in assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities. Without long-term care insurance, you are at risk of receiving hefty health care bills if you find yourself in need of ongoing chronic care. Even the most diligent savers may not be able to afford the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for long-term care.

The number of employers offering long-term care insurance is rapidly growing. Likewise, more employees are viewing it as a primary benefit, equally as important as life or disability coverage. Here are some key considerations for providing long-term care insurance to your employees:

  • Long-term care is not only for the elderly. An average of 8% of people between the ages of 40 and 50 have disabilities that could require long-term care.
  • An estimated 70% of people above the age of 65 will eventually need some type of long-term care.
  • Women generally live longer than men, so they may need more long-term care.
  • Younger participants may pay lower premiums than participants older than 60.

If you’re not offering long-term care to your employees, it might be time to consider adding it as a voluntary benefit. To learn about your options, please contact CanopyNation at hello@joincanopynation.com, and our benefit experts can provide guidance.