- Aging & Longevity
Long-term care insurance eases the pain
Make room for ailing parents
If you are reading this you probably are considering long-term care for yourself or for someone close to you. Over the years I have received many emails, cold calls, and letters making a case for purchasing long-term care insurance. As my mother suffered the increasing disability of Alzheimer’s disease, I considered available options for her care. The most attractive option, long-term care insurance, was not available because my mother had not purchased it.
Drudging through available options
My mother was not eligible to receive Medicaid which would pay for her care in a nursing home. Medicaid is not automatically available. We had to go through a long application process. Assets of a Medicaid recipient must not own more than $2000 in assets. My mother owned a home which added a chink in the application chain. The process moved forward after we signed an affidavit saying my mother planned to return to her home.
Aging should not be stressful
Be informed and careful
Not all nursing homes accept Medicaid. Many that do accept Medicaid are undesirable. Finding the right place requires many, many visits and observation of very sad living conditions. My mother was finally placed in a facility that was better than most. After two years, the psychiatrist called me to say that my mother’s condition was worsening quickly because no one was coming to see her. There was no question … I had to bring her to live with me.
Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid
Relocation of my mother to California was stressful but I thank God that I was able to do it for her. Each state has its own application process. Medi-Cal is California’s version of Medicaid. My mother arrived in January and was unable to complete the qualification process until June. In the meantime, she had continuing medical needs.
Long-term care insurance would have been the answer
Long-term care insurance allows a person to select where care will be received: home, assisted living, nursing home, etc. Long-term care insurance is costly, and often denied, based on age and family history. The ideal time to purchase long-term care insurance is in one’s 20’s or 30’s. Because mother did not have long-term care, I struggled daily with various options appearing that worked for a while. It would have been wonderful to have her at home as she passed away.
No insurance carries risk
Do be caught without long-term care insurance
As I searched long-term care insurance for myself, I was quoted $300 to almost $500. I was denied by several companies because my mother had Alzheimer’s. Thank God my husband worked for the Federal government. I was able to get a government plan for $215 per month. Now I must make sure that my wishes are written down and my relatives are aware of them. I hope I can afford to continue to pay the policy. I have the payment electronically drawn from my account and have made my niece aware of it.
Everyone who doesn’t die will get old. Long-term care should be carefully considered.
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