Long-Term Care Insurance: A Lesson Learned from My Parents’ Experience
Watching my parents navigate their 80s made me think differently about long-term care insurance. Both my dad and my stepdad got sick and needed care, but only one had insurance. Now, my husband and I are looking at policies before we need them.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people who reach the age of 65 will require some form of long-term services and supports for their health. These services can be incredibly expensive, and without insurance, they can quickly deplete one’s savings and assets.
One of my parents, my dad and stepmom, had the foresight to purchase long-term care insurance while they were still in middle age and without any medical problems. They have been paying the premiums all these years and are now reaping the benefits. My dad, who has Parkinson’s and has suffered several strokes, has been in a skilled nursing facility for the past three years. The cost of such a facility can be astronomical, with a median cost of $94,900 per year. Fortunately, their long-term care insurance covers most of the daily costs, ensuring that they don’t face financial ruin.
On the other hand, my mom and stepdad did not have long-term care insurance. When my stepdad was diagnosed with lymphoma and required 24-hour nursing care, they had to pay out of pocket for home health care, which amounted to approximately $10,000 per month. Although they had some savings to fall back on, these healthcare costs would have quickly depleted their resources if it weren’t for his health improving. It was a close call, and they were fortunate that the length of his care did not completely wipe out their finances.
These experiences made me realize the importance of long-term care insurance. With the high costs of healthcare and services, it is no wonder that medical expenses are the most common reason for bankruptcy in the United States. My husband and I thought we were too old to qualify for long-term care insurance, but it turns out we still have options. Many people seek out insurance in their mid-50s to mid-60s, and it’s worth exploring our options before it’s too late.
However, we may encounter some roadblocks due to our pre-existing conditions. The premiums for long-term care insurance can be expensive, and some companies may even deny coverage based on health conditions. The best approach is to research and contact different companies directly to find the right policy for our needs and budget.
As we enter our later years, the prospect of needing support or healthcare services becomes more likely. Planning for these eventualities is crucial to ensure that we don’t regret our choices in the years to come. Long-term care insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection, allowing us to receive the necessary care without worrying about the cost. It’s a valuable lesson that I learned from my parents’ experiences, and one that I will continue to prioritize for my own future and well-being.
In conclusion, long-term care insurance is an essential consideration for anyone approaching their later years. The cost of healthcare and services can be overwhelming, and without proper coverage, it can lead to financial ruin. I encourage everyone to explore their options and plan for the future, ensuring that they have the necessary resources and support when they need it most.