Long-term Care Basics
Learn about what to factor when considering long-term care or how long-term care insurance can help protect your family’s financial security.
View a presentation to learn more about your options for long-term care or read an article to help you better understand whether long-term care insurance is right for you.
Long-term care refers to services that individuals who are chronically ill or suffering from a disabling condition, or cognitive impairment rely upon. These services are generally needed for an extended period of time and may not “cure” or “heal” the individual receiving them. Long-term care services help with routine activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
Rehabilitative medical care due to acute conditions is different from long-term care. When medical care is the result of an acute, or short term, medical condition (e.g. hip replacements, strokes, or cancer), a hospital stay is often necessary to help stabilize the condition. If patients have not made a full recovery, they are normally discharged to the care of a nursing facility, or to the supervision of professional home care. With these types of conditions, Medicare (for qualifying individuals) or private-pay health insurance will usually pay for rehabilitative care.
When determining the appropriate plan of care, physicians often look to the client’s home as the preferred location. Not only is it familiar to the patient, but it also promotes emotional well-being for the entire family.
The most common providers of home care are family and friends. Their assistance is not always available on a 24 hours a day basis. When extensive care is required, the family may decide to hire qualified home health care providers* such as registered nurses, physical therapists or licensed social workers.
To assist those individuals whose informal caregivers such as family or friends work during the day, and may be unable to provide ongoing care, Adult Day Care Facilities** may be a practical alternative. Designed to promote social interaction while meeting the health care needs of long-term care recipients, adult day care offers caregivers the time necessary to meet their own day-to-day responsibilities at home and at work.
Moving a loved one into a facility can be stressful and time consuming. To make an informed decision, it is important to know the choices of facilities available in your area.
An Alternative Living Facility may be a better option for you if the care you need cannot be provided in your home.
- Meet a wide range of individual needs within a residential-type setting.
- Ongoing care on a 24 hour basis.
- Assistance with everyday activities like dressing, bathing and meal preparation.
Sometimes care in nursing homes is needed. A nursing home is a facility that is primarily in the business of providing licensed nursing care on a 24 hour basis. As the cost of hospitalization increases, many people complete their recovery in nursing homes.
- Offer a less expensive alternative to some types of care and therapies formerly available only in a hospital.
- Some nursing home residents stay long enough to regain their independence and then return home.
- Others may find they continue to need assistance throughout the day and remain at the nursing home for extended periods of time.
Long-term care insurance refers to insurance that may pay for long-term care services that individuals who are chronically ill or suffering from a disabling condition, or cognitive impairment rely upon. Long-term care insurance may enable you to receive long-term care services in your home, the community, an alternate facility (e.g. Alzheimer’s Facility), or in a nursing facility. It also helps protect you from depleting your assets and diverting your retirement income in order to receive the necessary care.
People consider purchasing long-term care insurance for a variety of reasons. Some buy to preserve assets they have worked hard to accumulate. For others, long-term care insurance offers a sense of independence – freedom from having to rely on children or the government to provide care. Given the option, many would prefer that the family was there for support, not as primary care providers.
Regardless of the reason you’re considering long-term care insurance, it can afford those who purchase it a greater sense of financial security and freedom of choice when it’s needed most.
*In states that do not license or certify these providers, other guidelines may apply. Providers may vary by state.
**Also known as Residential Care Facilities (California only) or Assisted Living Facilities
***Note: Certain state insurance departments require variations in terminology to some policy features. The new terms for the features do not change how the features operate. Such changes may be “Adult Day Health Care Centers” or “Adult Day Care Facilities” replacing “Adult Day Care Centers,” “Assisted Living Facilities” replacing “Alternate Living Facilities,” or “Residential Care Facility” and “Lifetime Maximum Dollar Amount” or “Maximum Lifetime Benefit” replacing “Benefit Account Value.”
Long-Term Care Insurance Policy forms TT.LTC.(1010) and TT.LTC.(0213) or state equivalent.
Long-Term Care Insurance Policy form TT.LTC.ML.(1010) and TT.LTC.ML.(0213) are only available in NJ, NY, OH and PA.
Long-Term Care Insurance Policy form TT.LTC.LP.(0213) is only available in TX.
Long-Term Care Insurance Policy form TT.LTCN.(1010) is only available in MA.
Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company’s long-term care insurance policy contains exclusions and limitations.
The purpose of this material is for the marketing and solicitation of insurance.
A financial representative is a licensed insurance agent/producer.