Question - What are long term services & supports?

Answer - the formal name for services a person receives to assist with day to day life functions.

A look at what this special support does:

  Assists a person to perform day to day life activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, going to the toilet, or transferring say from a bed to a chair.

      Note: In what I call a Long Term "Health" plan these personal functions are referred to as  - activities of daily living (ADLs).


An individual who assists is a Caregiver. Some points:

  Over 80% of us have a relative, or know someone, who is or has received assistance from a Caregiver.  Perhaps because "parts wore out" or because of trouble with mental ability.


  40% of us are now or have been a family Caregiver. 86% of those who have said their lifestyle was impacted!

A look at where support is received and a couple points about needing these services:

  First about 80% is in the home. Support often starts with a family Caregiver. If a professional is hired it would usually be with a Homemaker to prepare meals and provide non medical support. They are sometimes called Companions. 


  When "hands on" personal assistance is needed the next step is to hire a Home Health Aide.


  When medical related assistance is needed an LPN or an RN [like in the picture ] comes to your home.

     BTW (1) — A person can receive home based assistance a few hours every couple days or up to around the clock. Receiving services at home responds to a person's desire to age in place. 

 

     BTW (2) —  The 2018 American Association of Long Term Care Insurance study of new long term care claims found 52% started with Home services.


Who might need support? Some people think their health won't deteriorate and they will just die one day! That's a common reaction and would be nice if it worked out that way for everyone! 

  But no one knows if they will or won't need assistance!  


  By age 75 70% or more of us will need support at some time! 


  People 75 and older have 2 or 3 chronic conditions, on average, and some as many as 10 or 12!


  By age 85 or older 20% are using support services!


  80% of people worry about having physical limitations!


  Advanced medical treatments and new medications have increased longevity! But longer life means a much higher chance assistance will be needed and for a longer period.

Support in a facility:

Assisted Living Facility (ALF): 

       ˃ Individuals have a private apartment and receive meals in a common area.  

       ˃ The socializing a person receives often improves their quality of life and their health. This is a big value of a ALF to the family. 

       ˃ Families also report safety was a big factor in moving a loved one to a ALF. They know help is there if there is a fall or a sudden illness.

 

Nursing facility: Support for individuals with complex needs such as around the clock monitoring.

      BTW — The 2018 American Association of Long Term Care Insurance study found 20% of new claims started in Assisted Living and 28% in a Nursing home.

How does a Long Term Care insurance plan pay for these special services?

  A health care professional (does not have to be a MD ) develops a plan of care. It describes the support the person needs and is submitted to their insurance company:     

       ˃ Assistance must be needed with two or more ADL's and projected to last at least 90 days.

       ˃ When the company approves the proposed plan and the waiting period the person selected is completed the first payment is sent to them. Additional payments can be sent direct to the professional.


  Not all assistance qualifies. Why? For example, assistance after surgery is focused on improving a person's ability to get around on their own and is temporary so its temporary acute care not on going or custodial.

What do these special services cost?

Support services in Connecticut have some of the highest costs in the U.S:

  A Homemaker coming to your home in the Hartford area can be up to $26 an hour.


  A certified home health aide who assists for say six hours 4 days a week could be about $675. This could grow to over $5,500 a month in say 15 years.


  Adult Day services: What's this? A facility a person can go to during the day so their family caregiver can go to work. Can be $85 a day in the Hartford area or about $1,900 a month on a 5 day a week basis.


  An Assisted Living Facility can cost $6,600 or more a month in the Hartford, New London & Norwich area; $6,900 or more in the New Haven area; and around $8,000 in the  Bridgeport/ Stamford area.


  A semi private Nursing home room in CT is reported to be $154,000 * a year in 2018. CT's facility costs are next to the highest in the U.S.; have increased an average of 2.1% over the last 5 years; and are up an average of 5% since 1988!

        ˃ * Reported by the Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care 


     BTW - The chance a person will need their home & auto coverage is significantly lower than the chance on going assistance will be needed! Yet everyone buys home & auto coverage!

What can be done to avoid paying these big assistance invoices yourself?

We all hope this won't happen but the chance some getting around assistance will be needed in the future is very high. We also know these services are not only very expensive today and may be three times higher in say 25 years.  


What to do? Instead of worrying and being stressed over many years about "needing assistance" I suggest developing a plan TODAY to take care of your loved ones!

First Think about what you would like if there is  a change in health . This page has some points on planning. 


Second - Develop a Long Term Care insurance plan to fit your interest then Buy even though it will be expensive. Doing this means:  

  You gain the certainty of paying a known amount! 


  A much lower cost than paying for assistance yourself!


Some ideas to control the cost of this so so important but expensive insurance:

  Sharing assistance expenses. You pay for some assistance and the plan pays some. 

     ˃ Think about how much could be paid using Social Security, from other income, or perhaps drawing some from investments. 

     ˃ Sharing means you gain all the advantages of owning a Long Term "Health" insurance plan at a lower cost.


  Select a higher monthly benefit - based on costs in the future BUT don't include the expensive inflation option.


  Paying for your plan annually. May be 8% lower than monthly.


 Note: The cost may be lower for some individuals since owning can have tax advantages. 


Call John C Parker today at 860.739.0005 to talk about developing a Long Term "Health" insurance plan to meet your interest & budget. I'll get back to you if not available.