At some point in our aging lives, each of us has asked ourselves the question, “How can I protect myself against the possibility of long-term health care expenses?” These financial planning discussions can cause an anxious feeling, depending on when in your life you are asking this to yourself. Here at South Coast Post Acute we care about your financials and want to help you understand the options that you have when planning for long-term health care at a post-acute facility.
Long-term health care is a subject of concern for most Americans. Most of us are going to need some sort of long-term health care and costs continue to rise. Traditional long-term care policies have experienced substantial premium increases, passing off the rising costs to policyholders. And budgeting retirement expenses can remain difficult if these premiums increase substantially outside of what you were planning.
Long-term care may be an inevitable position for many individuals when you reach a point in your life that you cannot care for yourself due to physical or cognitive impairments. Entering into a post-acute care community may be just what the doctor ordered. However, the unfortunate fact is that a lifetime of retirement savings can be depleted by the need for long-term health care. So how can individuals protect themselves and their families from risks of long-term health care costs before entering into a post-acute community?
Although family members attempt to provide long-term care for their loved ones, the burden may just be too much. Finding a post-acute community with skilled professionals may require tapping into personal assets to cover expenses. These family-care decisions are sometimes emotionally made with a focus on the dignity and comfort needed to thrive for the one in need of a post-acute community. Ideally, it is best not to have to make these decisions based on financial restraints. Putting yourself financially first early on will help your family be able to make the best decisions for you when the time is needed. Start by maximizing your health care reserves by setting aside anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000 to cover potential care. Investments in the early years can help. Sound above your savings rate? Here are a few more ways to plan for post-acute care.
One of the big misunderstandings about long-term care is that the services are covered by Medicare. Only after an individual has spent three days in the hospital will Medicare help to pay for your recovery in skilled nursing or post-acute care facility. Medicare will help cover the total cost of the post-acute facility for the first 20 days, after which you will pay approximately $135.50 coinsurance per day for Part B enrollees. After 100 days Medicare will stop paying as coverage is limited to short-term care and will not cover daily custodial care.
Long-term Care Insurance
Purchasing long-term care insurance is one way to prepare for healthcare coverage. Long-term insurance will help with a host of services like routine daily activities when you have a chronic medical condition or disability. The cost of long-term care can vary per insurance company and depend on whether they discontinue selling certain policies or introduce a new policy based on the state you live in. When meeting with an insurance agent or financial representative, it may be best to ask how many insurance companies are they appointed to sell. Some are only approved to sell from one company and of course, that can sway your decision. Considering long-term care costs is important to face in your 50s. Waiting until you need coverage is not an option, plus you may not qualify if you wait too long.
Planning for Costs
There is good news for those planning for health care costs in retirement. As the costs become known and relatively stable, it is possible to actually plan for them. Here are a few options:
- Leverage savings with an HSA – use as a tax preference way to save holistically for retirement
- Maximize premium assistance tax credits – those eligible can use this assistance to subsidize the cost of insurance
- Medicare – Be proactive when selecting the best options as well as Part D prescription drug plan and coverage
- Choosing the right Medigap supplemental policy is key as a balance between high premiums and low out-of-pocket costs
At South Coast Post Acute, our skilled nursing and licensed physical therapy specialists want to ensure you have all the education and knowledge you need before entering into a post-acute community and have the facts for you, your retirement, and your family to make the best decisions for your health and financial future to live life to the fullest after surgery, illness, or serious injury.
Contact us today to learn more about southern California’s choice for skilled nursing, rehabilitation therapy, and post-acute care.
Real People. Remarkable Care. South Coast Post Acute.