Seniors often buy long-term care insurance to feel comfortable knowing that there can be an additional source of income available for special care in their residence or a nursing home. But who will make sure that you will get the type of care you need and when you need it?
A care coordinator can become your advocate to find and set up your long-term care treatment. Usually registered nurses or social workers with broad experience in senior health medicine are used. They understand the issues, know your insurance benefits, and are familiar with local resources. Their job is to meet with you and your family, assess your needs, and develop a plan of care. They will then monitor your progress and update the plan as your needs change. Long-term care insurance policies frequently include some form of care management. The four most common versions are:
- The policy pays for an independent care coordinator's on-site assessment
- The policy pays for an on-site assessment by a firm that has a claims processing contract with your insurance company
- After you file a claim, the insurance company hires a coordinator to meet with you and assess your eligibility for benefits
- Care coordination services are conducted at a central location and your needs might be evaluated over a toll-free number
When reviewing your long-term care policy or looking at a new one, it is important to understand the language for care coordination and any restrictions that may apply. Is it a separate benefit, or will the company make you go through an evaluation to get the benefits? And some are not as meaningful as others. Care coordination should be made to enhance your benefits, not limit them. And if you are not sure which type of care coordinator benefit your current long-term care policy includes, I can research this for you at no charge. Include the insurance company's name and policy number on the enclosed coupon and drop it in the mail.