Long-term care is a complicated subject, so misconceptions abound. Learn these truths so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones.
MYTH #1: I won’t need long-term care
FACT: Long-term care is usually non-medical in nature. It’s about maintaining a quality of life through care that helps the patient with basic everyday tasks, such as walking, bathing, and eating. A patient can be in good health medically, but still need long-term care because of declines in basic human functions (such as eyesight, hearing, and mobility), naturally or otherwise, due to aging, disabilities, and illnesses.
MYTH #2: My health insurance or HMO will cover long-term care costs.
FACT: All basic health insurance plans will only cover medical needs for a specified period of time. Because long-term care is not necessarily medical, and because the length of service can last many years (or indefinitely), basic health insurance plans will not cover long-term care.
MYTH #3: Medicare and Medicaid will pay for my long-term care needs
FACT: This is true only if you meet certain restrictive requirements for your income and assets. You must understand these requirements so that you’ll know if Medicare and Medicaid will be there for you. Learn the truth here about Medicare and Medicaid as it relates to long-term care.
MYTH #4: I won’t need to worry about long-term care until I retire.
FACT: Long-term care is not just a health issue. It’s also a family, financial, legal, and quality-of-life issue. The best time to plan is in advance, not at the point when you need care. If you are over 50, the best time to start planning is now. If you have parents over 65, help them start planning now as well.
MYTH #5: I can count on my family to care for me
FACT: Caregiving is very hard work that is emotionally and physically draining. Your family may care for you out of sheer love and devotion, but that will take away time and attention they need for themselves and their families. Furthermore, it’s impractical to expect your loved ones to be there for you every hour of every day.
MYTH #6: I can count on my savings and retirement funds to cover my costs
FACT: The truth is that long-term care is expensive. It is the number one cause of bankruptcy among seniors and retirees. Without careful planning, these costs will affect you as well as your loved ones. Protecting your assets and financial well being from the ravaging costs of long-term care becomes both a financial and moral responsibility.
MYTH #7: I need to be in nursing homes to receive long-term care
FACT: You have the option to choose where you want to live to receive care, whether at home, in a community, in an assisted living facility, and so on. You can receive the care you need in the location that suits your living style.
MYTH #8: The Affordable Care Act (AFA) will pay for my long-term care
FACT: This is absolutely not true. The AFA (also known as Obamacare) tried to implement a sub-law called the CLASS Act that was supposed to help Americans pay for long-term care. However, the CLASS Act was repealed because Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services found that it would not work economically. It’s another example of just how expensive long-term care costs are.