You might think your HMO or other health insurance is great, and it may be. However, it might not cover the long-term financial ramifications of these illnesses:
- Limitations of Parkinson Disease
- Extra Care Needed to Deal With Chronic Arthritis
- Incapacity of Multiple Sclerosis
- Disability Caused by Stroke
- Care Needed by Alzheimer Patients
Many insurance plans are designed to address acute shorter-term illnesses - illnesses that the doctors can fix by admittance into a hospital, providing medical care, and then releasing you. But many illnesses do not behave this way. Many illnesses have a long term debilitating nature, and your insurance may not cover the long term care costs that are often associated with them.
According to a recent survey of long term care statistics, 17% of people over 65 in the US have purchased long term care insurance to cover these costs. Others who have not purchased this coverage could be under the impression that they are either covered by their regular health insurance, a government program, or that they won't ever have one of these illnesses. However, regular health coverage is only partial, as it typically does not cover the types of care often provided by nursing homes or community care providers. This type of care is commonly referred to as custodial or long-term care.
At $5,000+ per month for long term care, a person can accumulate a fairly significant long term health care bill. While many people would never consider being uninsured for routine health care, they seem to have ignored the risk that their health insurance might not cover the entire list of possible afflictions. I urge you not ignore this risk. Regardless of the wealth a person might accumulate during their lifetime, it could be compromised if they should get caught off-guard by a long-term nursing home stay.
If you don’t have this protection, I would also encourage you to consider it when your health is good. Remember-insurance companies often sell insurance to people when they don't need it.
If you do not even know the questions to ask, you can order our booklet "Mistakes in Buying Long Term Care Insurance" and then make an appointment with us to explore your options.