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Understanding Long-Term Care Insurance for Seniors

Senior-aged woman discussing long-term care insurance with a skilled nursing facilitator

Planning for the future with Brentwood Health Care Center, a skilled nursing facility 

Deciding to move to a skilled nursing facility can be difficult. It’s taxing on not only your emotional health but also your and your family’s finances. Thankfully, long-term care insurance for seniors can help ease the burden.  

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)—such as Brentwood Health Care Center—offer long-term care for those who need personalized levels of care and help with activities of daily life. Medicaid and private pay insurance will usually cover senior care at SNFs. 

As we humans have an increasing need for long-term care, affording quality care as seniors is important. Keep reading to find out how long-term care insurance specifically can benefit seniors and their loved ones as they transition to a skilled nursing facility like Brentwood.  

But first… You’re probably wondering, “What is long-term care insurance?” 

What is Long-Term Care Insurance? 

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is designed to cover the cost of services that aren’t covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.  

In addition to receiving care in a skilled nursing facility, it also includes home health care, assisted living, and other forms of long-term care for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. 

Why Might You Need a Skilled Nursing Facility? 

Skilled nursing facilities provide 24/7 care for seniors who cannot fully care for themselves. This includes medical, personal, and social services.  

SNFs also provide rehabilitation services for those recovering from surgery or illness who may need physical, occupational, and/or speech therapies. 

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover SNFs? 

The exact coverage offered by long-term care insurance for seniors will vary by policy. However, long-term care insurance will generally cover a portion of the daily or monthly cost of care in a skilled nursing facility 

Here are some factors to consider.

Facility Coverage Specificity 

Long-term care insurance policies often have specifications about the types of facilities they cover. Many policies will cover the costs of skilled nursing care, but don’t assume yours will. Be sure to read the fine point.  

Benefit Amount 

This is the maximum daily—or even monthly—amount your policy will pay for care. Double check that this amount aligns with the average cost of skilled nursing facilities in your area. Also note that SNFs often have a higher daily rate due to the intensive care provided. So also double check that your policy will cover these costs.  

Benefit Triggers 

For long-term care insurance to start covering the costs, specific conditions or “triggers” must be met. The trigger for SNFs is often the inability to perform a certain number of activities of daily living (ADLs). 

Benefit Period 

The benefit period is the length of time your insurance will pay for long-term care. This can range from a few years to an entire lifetime. Depending on why you need long-term care, your insurance may or may not cover your needs at a skilled nursing facility.  

Elimination Period 

The elimination period is the number of days you’ll pay out-of-pocket before the insurance starts covering costs. (It’s similar to a deductible period.) 

Medicare and SNFs 

Unlike standard long-term care, Medicare does provide coverage for skilled nursing facility care. However, it’s offered with stipulations.  

Typically, Medicare will cover a portion of the costs for a limited time (up to 100 days) following a hospital stay. After this, long-term care insurance can pick up where Medicare leaves off. 

Advantages of Planning Ahead  

Don’t wait until the last minute to obtain long-term insurance. You never know what will happen. Without insurance, the costs associated with skilled nursing care can quickly add up. By having relevant insurance, you’ll protect your savings. And, when you start planning early, you’ll have a better chance at securing lower premiums—and of being denied LTCI—when purchasing long-term care insurance at a younger age. 

You’ll also have a better chance at choosing the facility you want. A lack of insurance may dictate that you settle for only what you can afford.  

Finally, having long-term care insurance adds a bit of peace of mind for you and your family. You’ll know that you’re prepared in case you need to stay at a skilled nursing facility.  

Visit Brentwood to Discuss Options  

Planning for the future with long-term care insurance puts you one step closer to ensuring comfort, security, and quality care in the event you need skilled nursing services.  

It can be daunting to figure out how to pay to live in a senior living community. Thankfully, the services you need will most likely be covered by senior living insurance, such as LTCI.  

If you’re curious as to how Brentwood can help, reach out today. We work with families every day to ensure they can afford the respectful, quality senior care their loved ones deserve.