It is estimated that about 70% of individuals over age 65 will require at least one type of LTC during their lifetime. Many people still believe that Medicare or private health insurance will cover long term care services if they need them; however, with the exception of brief stays in nursing homes following a hospital stay; Medicare does not cover long term care. Private health insurance will cover LTC if it is a specific LTC policy.
Identifying a way to finance the care you need is a major concern because
LTC can be expensive, particularly nursing home care. About half of all nursing
home residents pay nursing home costs from their own or family resources. Many
people prefer alternatives to nursing home care, such as assisted living
arrangements or home health care and other community services.
There are several ways to fund long term care. If you have enough income or savings,
you will likely need to pay for long-term care services on your own, from your income, savings, and possibly from
the equity in your home (reverse mortgage). You can also purchase long-term care insurance to cover personal care needs. Some government programs such as Medicaid might help you pay for services if you meet thier rules.
Resources for estimating the current cost of long term care in the area where you live can be found from the National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information. This web site features a series of tools you can use to determine future costs of care and options for financing the care should you need it
This Consumer Guide to Long Term Care has similar information about paying for long term care with links to Medicare and other resources.