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Preparing for long-term care

Posted June 26, 2013 in Advice Column, Boone

Approximately 70 percent of Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives.1 Most often the type of care needed is not medical, but rather care for the basic personal tasks of everyday life such as bathing, dressing and eating. As a result, this care can be provided by friends, family or professionals in your home. In some situations, however, the additional support of a nursing or assisted living facility is required, and the costs add up quickly.

While the need for long-term care can be difficult to predict or prevent, simple preparations can help you manage and afford the transition should the need arise for you or a family member.

•    Discuss your long term care desires with family. On average, people who turn 65 today need up to three years of long-term care services.2 The team providing care initially is often made up of a spouse, adult children or siblings. Talk with your family and friends about their willingness or ability to provide care for you before the situation arises. Also discuss where you would want to receive services should you be unable to stay at home.

•    Know what’s covered. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care. Medicaid does cover long-term care cost if you meet state income criteria.* However, when Medicaid pays for long-term care services, it limits the type of care you can receive and where you can receive it.

•    Consider purchasing long-term care insurance. The national average cost for nursing home care is $83,500 per year and more than $39,500 per year for an assisted living facility.3 Even if you pay long-term care insurance premiums for a number of years, the potential out-of-pocket cost for just one year of care without coverage far exceeds the cost of the insurance premiums. With a long-term care insurance policy, you can choose your care type, including in-home care, assisted living, nursing home care or possibly a mix of care options.

Long-term care is not just a concern for the elderly. Early preparation can help prevent you from being deemed high risk or denied coverage for long-term care insurance that could protect you now and into your golden years. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to learn more about long-term care insurance.

*State requirements vary.
1, 2 ,3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Clearinghouse of Long-Term Care Information, Cost of Care,, visited May 17, 2013.

Individual eligibility for all product promotions is subject to underwriting review and approval. Long-term care insurance policies are underwritten by a variety of other insurance companies that are not affiliated with our companies.

For more information about products and services, call Lora Ahrens Olerich, Farm Bureau Financial Services, 1329 S.E. Marshall St, Boone, 515-433-2000.

Information provided by Lora Ahrens Olerich, Farm Bureau Financial Services, 515-433-2000.

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