What is long-term care?
Long-term care is the assistance people need when they can no longer independently perform certain activities. These activities fall under two categories:
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) include basic personal tasks like eating, bathing, dressing or toileting.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are tasks like taking medication, caring for a pet, shopping for groceries, making appointments or performing housework.
These needs typically arise as part of the normal aging process but can also be due to injury or illness such as an accident, stroke or cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease.
How much care will you need?
No one wants to think that they’ll need any sort of care, but life happens. Whether it’s short-term care following an accident or long-term care for an illness, care planning is important to consider no matter the age or stage. Some further statistics to consider:
- Women tend to need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years)3
20% of today’s 65-year-olds will need long-term care for longer than five years.4
Almost half (49%) of long-term care insurance claims last for one year or less.5
What is long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance is designed to help you pay for assistance with the daily activities of life that are not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. These include tasks that you or a loved one can no longer perform independently like eating, bathing, dressing or taking medication. This assistance is often provided either in the home or in a facility. Caregiving is not performed by family members but rather by a paid professional or facility able to handle chronic illness, health conditions and specific care needed by the policyholder.
What’s the difference between long-term care and short-term care insurance?
A short-term care policy is an alternative to long-term care insurance that provides benefits for less than 12 months. Premiums for short-term care policies are often lower than a long-term care insurance policy because insurance companies usually charge less for shorter-term coverage.
Why choose long-term care insurance?
Because Americans are living longer, the chances of needing help with the basic activities of life may increase as you age. Having long-term care insurance helps with those needs. It also offers independence and a degree of flexibility when choosing a facility or deciding to stay home. The cost of long-term care can be significant, which is another reason to consider it.