We all know that long-term care is expensive, especially when specialized care for diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s is needed. On average, a person can expect to pay $8,00 - $10,000 a month for a stay in a typical care center, without adding any extra costs for specialized dementia care. This is why long-term care insurance was created, but unfortunately, in most cases, it will not cover all the care required.
One common misconception is that long-term care insurance protects against the high costs of skilled, dementia, and other long-term care centers. The reality is that long-term care insurance policies usually have many restrictions and requirements attached to them and typically only cover a small portion of long-term care costs. This protection may even come out to less than the cost of the long-term care insurance premiums that have been paid over the years.
Another fact that many people often miss is that most patients, even those with dementia, only stay at long-term care centers for six months or less. This is a much shorter amount of time than long-term care insurance companies would have you believe. In fact, the vast amount of care that Alzheimer’s patients receive is at assisted living care centers that are designed specifically for dementia patients, but most policies will not cover the costs of these assisted living care centers either. Perhaps the most troubling concern is that when seniors and dementia patients need coverage the most, they often cannot afford to continue making premium payments.
While it probably does not pay to get a long-term care insurance policy for a loved one showing signs of dementia, it may be a good idea in certain other situations. If there is a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s, then getting a policy at an earlier age may be advisable as long as it makes financial sense. Most financial experts agree that long-term care insurance premiums should only amount to about 5% or less of your monthly income. But again, keep in mind that your income will drop and your premiums will rise as you age. A financial planner and experienced elder law attorney can work together with you to determine if a long-term care insurance policy is right for your situation.
If you want more information on the pros and cons of long-term care insurance, or if you currently have a long-term care insurance policy and want it reviewed for your situation, please contact our Ohio elder law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule an initial consultation.