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As Americans live longer, long-term care is more and more necessary. Long-term care insurance pays for diverse services that are usually not covered by medical insurance. It can be provided in nursing homes, at your home, at assisted living facilities and physical therapy offices. Long-term care services refer to 3 kinds of care: skilled, intermediate and custodial.

Skilled and Intermediate Care
If you are seriously injured but can recover or are have a curable disease, nurses and professional therapists will provide you with daily care, under the instructions of a physician. Skilled care helps you recover. Intermediate care is just like skilled care, but not daily.

Custodial Care
Custodial care is not intended to help you recover- it helps you live your life. Help with daily activities like eating, bathing, dressing,going to the bathroom, getting you in and out of bed is provided. Some illnesses or injuries require daily catheter or wound cleaning. Custodial care can be in-home or at a nursing home.

Locations for Care:
Nursing Homes provide comprehensive long-term care from medical to rehabilitative to personal care. Their focus is to help people safely meet their daily social, mental, physical, and medical needs. Nursing homes currently average more than $60,000 per year.

Assisted Living Facilities offer care with daily living activities in a residential setting, with 24-hour assistance, recreational activities, and healthcare. They give residents more privacy and independence than a nursing home.

Adult Day Care Centers only function during day-time hours and meet the needs of functionally or cognitively impaired adults, including health, social, and personal needs.

Home Care services are provided at home to recovering, disabled, seriously ill or dying individuals. These services include medical, social, or therapeutic care, daily living assistance, and sometimes household support and cooking.

Long-term care policies are usually indemnity plans, with a fixed dollar amount paid for each day you receive care. Daily benefit amounts range from $50 to $300 or more, and you can also choose how long benefits will be paid. Policies limit benefits to a maximum dollar amount or a maximum number of days and may have separate benefit limits for nursing home, assisted living facility, and home health care within the same policy. Check yours carefully.

Key points to remember:

  • be sure you have inflation protection
  • the longer the deductible period, the less expensive the policy
  • be sure your policy is guaranteed renewable
  • check to see if you have waiver of premium while you are receiving care
  • most all policies have a free look period for you to carefully examine policy- usually 10-30 days
  • update your policy as your needs change


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