Written by Corinne Berenson, LTC Specialist
According to results of Genworth Financial’s “2007 Cost of Care Survey,” the average national cost of care in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and home-based care has increased 15 percent since 2004. The survey said the average daily rate of private nursing home care is $204. The cost of assisted living can be close to the same, and even a home healthcare provider averages $19 an hour. As the costs grow an average of 5 percent a year, will you be able to shoulder these expenses on your own?
Although the majority of people who require long-term care are over the age of 65, 40 percent are between the ages of 18-64, so don’t think that you’re “too young” to be in care. When considering the purchase of long-term care insurance, understand that you will need to meet medical qualifications, and even a bad diagnoses can make coverage unavailable. Although once you’ve been approved for a policy, it is “guaranteed renewable,” and no changes in your health can affect your coverage. Waiting too long may mean losing your “insurability” due to pre-existing health conditions. Because the premiums are based on your current age, waiting may also mean paying higher premiums. Other factors in determining premiums are health, marital status and the amount of coverage you purchase.