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Benefits of Long Term Care Insurance

Texas Long Term Care Resources

Couple discussing long term care insurance options with agent. 

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For the 70 percent of people older than 65 who the experts say will need long term care at some point in their lives1, the costs just notched up again.

According to the Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey released today, the annual median cost of long term care services increased an average of 4.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, the second-highest year-over-year increase for nursing homes and home care since the study began in 2004 and nearly three times the 1.7 percent U.S. rate of inflation.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Unlike traditional health insurance, long-term care insurance is designed to cover long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.

Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating. You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.

Roughly 1.4 million Americans are living in nursing homes today. Nursing home care is costly ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 a month when paid for privately. And did you know, Medicare DOES NOT pay for 'long term' nursing home care. Another good reason long term care insurance should be part of your financial plan.

 The phrase "long-term care" refers to the help that people with chronic illnesses, disabilities or other conditions need on a daily basis over an extended period of time.

The type of help needed can range from assistance with simple activities (such as bathing, dressing and eating) to skilled care that's provided by nurses, therapists or other professionals.

Long term care is a type of personal care service you may need if you become unable to care for yourself because of a prolonged physical illness, a disability, or a cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Long term care is different from traditional medical care that attempts to treat or cure illnesses. Long-term care helps you maintain your current lifestyle, but it may not improve or correct your medical problems. Care may be provided at home or in a hospice, adult day care center, nursing home, or assisted living facility.

Texas Long-Term Care Partnership Program

Texas created the Long Term Care Partnership Program as an incentive for Texans to plan for their long-term care needs. The partnership is a joint effort between private insurers and the state. Insurers must follow state and federal guidelines to sell partnership policies. Partnership policies have an asset disregard benefit, inflation protection, and tax qualification benefits.

A Texas Partnership for Long-Term Care qualified policy provides you, as the purchaser, with the right to apply for Medicaid under modified eligibility rules that include a special feature called an asset disregard. This allows you to keep assets that would otherwise not be allowed if you need to apply, and qualify, for Medicaid in order to receive additional long-term care services. The amount of assets Medicaid will disregard is equal to the amount of the benefits you actually receive under your long term care Partnership qualified policy.
 
Since these policies must include inflation protection, the amount of the benefits you receive can be higher than the amount of insurance protection you originally purchased. If you have a Partnership-qualified long term care insurance policy and receive $200,000 in benefits, you can apply for Medicaid and, if eligible, retain $200,000 worth of assets over and above the State's Medicaid asset threshold.

In most states the asset threshold is $2,000 for a single person. Asset thresholds for married couples are typically more generous. For more information, contact a Texas Long Term Care Insurance Agent.

Choosing Long-Term Care Insurance in Texas

Consumer Information -
If you are a consumer or caregiver in immediate need of long-term care services, call 2-1-1 or contact a HICAP benefits counselor in your area. If your question is about a Texas long-term care insurance policy you have or are buying, call the TDI Consumer Help Line between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central time, Monday-Friday or visit their website below. 1-800-252-3439 or 512-463-6515 if living in Austin. Source: www.tdi.texas.gov

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DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites or references to products, services or publications do not imply the endorsement or approval of such websites, products, services or publications by Elder Options of Texas. The determination of the need for senior care services and the choice of a facility is an extremely important decision. Please make your own independent investigation.