For those who can no longer take care of themselves, long-term may entail many different options, including nursing homes and in-home care. Long-term care can be incredibly expensive — $40,000 per year or more. Prescription drugs, legal fees and other costs can creep upward quickly as well.
People with low income and few assets may be eligible for long-term care through Medicaid or other government assistance programs. Others may wish to purchase long-term care insurance when they're younger to protect their assets later in life. However, this coverage can be costly — often several thousand dollars per year, depending on how old you are when you begin paying for coverage. Plus, those with pre-existing conditions may be denied coverage.
Long-term care usually consists of some combination of skilled care, intermediate care and custodial care. Skilled care is the most expensive service, involving round-the-clock care from a registered nurse under the close supervision of a physician. Intermediate care is less intense and includes occasional nursing and rehabilitative care under the supervision of medical personnel. Custodial care is home care. It provides for the basic nonmedical needs of a patient such as cooking, bathing and other day-to-day needs. This can help if you have a family member living under your roof but you are unable to support their day-to-day needs on your own.
Fortunately, there are other options to pay for long-term care.
Using a Life Insurance Policy
You can use your life insurance policy in a number of ways in order to finance elder care: