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Maryland Health Care Commission

Consumer Guide to Long Term Care

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Paying for Long-Term Care

The likelihood of using long term care services increases as we age or if we are disabled. So, planning ahead for your own or a loved one's long term care is best, but that may not be possible for everyone. Finding a way to pay for long term care is a major concern because it can be expensive, particularly nursing home care. Many people prefer alternatives to nursing home care, such as assisted living arrangements or home health care and other community services.

There are several resources for estimating the current cost of long term care in the state where you live. The cost of care can range from $17,000 to $79,000 per year depending on the type of care needed and where the care is provided. Therefore, it's important to plan for long term care costs. The resources for long term care include: Medicare, Medicaid (if you meet eligibility requirements), Long Term Care Insurance, and Personal Resources.


Medicare
For more information on Medicare, view the Medicare web page.


Medicaid
For more information on Medicaid, view the Medicaid web page.


Long Term Care Insurance
You may own or purchase a long term care insurance policy. Long term care insurance may have less costly premiums if purchased while you are younger because the cost of a policy rises with age. This does not mean purchasing a long term care insurance policy later in life will not benefit you. Purchasing a long term care insurance policy is something you may want to discuss with a financial planner.


The Maryland Insurance Administration maintains a list of the insurance companies that are approved to sell individual long term care policies in Maryland. The link that follows will take you to the list:

http://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Documents/publicnew/ltc-indinspol.pdf.


Publications.USA.gov offers a “Guide to Long Term Care Insurance”, a 21 page booklet which includes a checklist for choosing a long term care policy. Use the link that follows to order or download the booklet:

http://publications.usa.gov/USAPubs.php?PubID=5879


The Maryland Insurance Administration also has information about the Maryland Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program. This program is an innovative partnership between Maryland and private insurance companies who issue long-term care insurance policies. A policy sold under the Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program, by law, must meet the same standards as a long-term care policy not sold under the program. In addition, a partnership policy must meet certain specific federal and state requirements, and be certified as a “long-term care partnership policy” by the Commissioner of the MIA. Use the following link to go to find out additional information:

http://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Documents/publications/longtermcare.pdf


Personal Resources
Personal trusts, annuities and reverse mortgages are also sources of funds for LTC. You may need the assistance of a financial planner or other advisor to consider the benefits and drawbacks of these options. Which option is best for you depends on many factors including your age, your health status, your risk of needing long-term care, and your personal financial situation. It is best to discuss these options with a financial planner.


The National Clearinghouse for Long term Care has additional information on these options. Use the following link to go to the Clearinghouse:

http://longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pay/


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