Long–term care insurance is different from medical care because it generally helps you to live as you live now instead of improving or correcting medical problems. People often think of long-term care as strictly nursing home care. Long-term care services actually may include help with activities of daily living, home care, respite care, hospice care, or adult day care. This care may be given in your own home, a daycare facility, assisted living facility, a nursing home, or a hospice facility.
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For many seniors, long-term care (LTC) insurance—an insurance policy that helps pay for chronic medical care—can be a worthwhile choice. After all, nearly 70% of seniors aged 65 or older will require some form of long-term care in their lifetime—a service that can be prohibitively expensive, setting families back thousands of dollars a month.
But is long-term care insurance worth it? This policy tends to come at a steep price: in the U.S., for example, the average 55-year-old man pays an annual premium of $2,220. And thanks to insurance marketing tactics, potential buyers often believe that they’ll spend years in a nursing facility—which isn’t always the case.
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Realizing that a parent or loved one needs long-term care can be a tough pill to swallow. It can be hard to watch as a once healthy and active person can no longer manage simple tasks on his or her own. It can be even tougher to have the long-term care conversation with your loved one. After all, who wants to be told that she is no longer capable of caring for herself?