Financial Planning & Long-Term Care--Serving Arizona since 1978

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I ever need Long-Term Care?
With patients being discharged from hospitals as soon as possible, more patients require extra rehabilitation and recovery time in a Long-Term Care facility. Also, the change in family structure, with both spouses working, is another reason for the increased need for Long-Term Care.

What is the cost of Long-Term Care?
The cost will depend on where you live, type of care, and length of time you receive care. The average annual cost of a nursing home/home health care is between $20,000 and $50,000.

Doesn't Medicare or my medical insurance pay for Long-Term Care expenses?
On the average, Medicare pays only 2% of Long-Term Care expenses incurred in the United States according to the Health Insurance Association of America. Medicare will cover the cost of some skilled care (100 days) in approved nursing homes or in your home, but only in certain situations. Further, Medicare's skilled nursing facility (SNF) benefit does not cover general "nursing home" care. The SNF benefit is a "post-hospital" benefit, which only covers a relatively intensive level of skilled care furnished during a brief convalescent period after an acute care stay in a hospital. Medicare does not pay homemaker, custodial or intermediate services.

What would be the benefit of purchasing Long-Term Care insurance now?
Buying Long-Term Care insurance now will guarantee that you have protection later when your health may no longer allow you to qualify. Also, the younger your age, the lower the cost of the policy premiums. Compare the cost.

What if I want care in my home?
A Long-Term Care policy can have home health care provisions. If a nursing home is not required, you can receive care in the comfort of your own home, a relative's home, or even a residential retirement home, thereby protecting your personal freedom and dignity.

What should I look for when I select a Long-Term Care policy for myself?
There are many features you should look for:

  • How benefits are triggered
  • Guaranteed renewable for life
  • Benefit for all levels of care: skilled, intermediate and custodial
  • Home Health Care benefit (see next question)
  • Inflation protection
  • Waiver of premium
  • Premium discount, if both husband and wife apply and are accepted
  • Coverage for Alzheimer's Disease
  • No requirement for prior hospitalization

What should I look for in a Home Heath Care benefit?
You should know which factors trigger the Home Health Care benefit. Also, if the Home Health Care is a rider attached to a nursing home policy, be aware that benefits may differ. Make sure you understand the amount of coverage.

What is Medicaid and can I use that for Long-Term Care?
Medicaid is a government health aid program which pays for almost half of the nation's Long-Term Care expense. Many changes are occurring in both the federal and state Medicaid system. To receive Medicaid, you must meet your state's eligibility guidelines, including depletion of your assets or having none in the first place. In Arizona, this program is known as "AHCCCS" (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System).

Why not put my money into a savings account instead of paying insurance premiums?
This approach may work for some, but will it work for you? Even if you set aside equal premiums for Long-Term Care coverage, you still may be unable to meet the medical expense. Premiums guarantee benefits you purchase will be available in the future. You also protect your assets from depletion by Long-Term Care expenses.

What are the chances that I will need Long-Term Care?
Statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services indicate that 43%* of all people over age 65 will enter a nursing home some time in their lives. The average stay will be 2.5 years.

Is Long-Term Care only for senior citizens?
An illness or injury can strike anyone regardless of age. Many of the functionally dependent Americans will be less than 65 years old, according to the United States Health Cooperative in Washington D.C. The earlier you purchase the policy, the better. Most insurance companies sell coverage beginning at age 40.

For more information about Long-Term Care, contact us or call to speak with an NCA professional.

*Percentage ratios are subject to change.

NCA FINANCIAL SERVICES
3795 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ  85705
Phone: (520)293-7810 * (800)658-5890
 Fax: (520)292-3404

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