With so many financial products and services on the market, it can be easy to buy the wrong things. While everyone wants to be smart about their money – and make as much as they can on their investments – it’s not always simple. This is particularly true in today’s economy, with stubborn inflation and interest rates higher than they’ve been in decades. Against this backdrop, each financial decision takes on added importance. Mistakes have to be limited as the financial cushion may not be what it once was.
For seniors, many of whom rely on a mix of Social Security and retirement savings, it’s arguably even more important to make the right choices. Older adults don’t want to leave themselves vulnerable and unprotected, but they also don’t want to be underinsured and left with a hefty bill for emergencies or other needed care. Fortunately, there are some alternatives to pursue, with long-term care insurance being at the top of the list.
Long-term care insurance can help cover seniors for items that other insurance types simply cannot, ranging from nursing homes and assisted living facilities to daily caretaking at home. For many seniors, it could be well worth pursuing.
Why seniors should get long-term care insurance now
While everyone’s individual circumstances are different, there are some compelling reasons why seniors should consider buying long-term care insurance now. Here are three to know:
You may not have enough coverage
Health insurance can cover many different types of care and treatments, and Medicare can help those 65 and older. But as robust as both types may be, they may fall short of fully covering seniors for the care they need.
Long-term care insurance can help cover that gap by reimbursing policyholders for a wide range of care and treatments. This includes coverage for short-term care and traditional long-term care, home health care, assisted living and more.
Long-term care costs are high
Long-term care costs are high and likely to go even higher. Without the help a long-term care insurance policy can provide, many seniors may simply be unable to afford to pay for the assistance they need.
“The median cost of assisted living facilities is $148 per day, which equates to $4,500 per month, or $54,000 per year–depending on your state of residence,” SeniorLiving.org reports. And that doesn’t include the unpaid care many seniors and older adults are already getting from family members and friends.
But a long-term care insurance policy can both reimburse policyholders for assisted living facility expenses and make up some of the care currently being provided by relatives.
You may be able to keep your current caretaker
If you’re comfortable with your current situation but just need some financial help to cover costs, long-term care insurance could be the way to go. Depending on the provider and policy in question, some long-term care insurance companies pay for the family members currently taking care of you for free. It’s a rare win-win.
You can maintain the comfort and familiarity you already have with the relative helping you, and that family member can potentially get paid for the care they’re providing. That said, be sure to read the fine print before signing with any specific long-term care insurance company. Some may require your caretaker to be registered before reimbursement. Do your research ahead of time.
The bottom line
Seniors should be judicious about how they spend their money and what they spend it on, particularly in today’s uneven economic climate. Long-term care insurance, however, could be a valuable insurance type to pursue. It can help fill the coverage gap left by your regular health insurance and Medicare plans. This can be advantageous when compared to the high, out-of-pocket costs you may otherwise be stuck paying for care.
And, depending on the policy and provider, you may even be able to keep your current family member as a caretaker, and they could get paid for the care they’re currently providing for free.
Have more questions? Explore your long-term care insurance options here to learn more!