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Plan ahead for when a loved one cannot live independently

Plan ahead for when a loved one cannot live independently

At some point in a loved one’s life, independent living may no longer be an option. When the time comes, it’s best if a plan has already been put in place to ensure that comfort levels and health are maintained. According to the Society of Actuaries, it is best to establish a care plan long before the situation arises.

“Insurance coverage for long-term care covers disabilities so severe that assistance is needed with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and eating,” explain the editors of a Society of Actuaries report. “Some older policies require a nursing home only or require a hospital stay prior to claim eligibility; many modern policies do not. The cost of long-term care insurance is much lower if purchased at younger ages, well before anticipated need.”

The editors there realize that functional status is at times difficult to measure, and therefore, they suggest that individuals look into policies for less-severe definitions when purchasing insurance. They also remind readers that Medicaid coverage varies depending on the state an individual resides in. Therefore, it’s important to understand what’s covered, be it nursing home costs or assisted living.

“Medicare provides only limited, short-term care benefits in certain circumstances; it does not provide care for the long term,” they say. “The CLASS Act of 2010 provides for limited long-term care benefits, but this is a voluntary plan and no one can start receiving benefits until after having paid in for five years. Eligibility for the program is anticipated to be based on an actively-at-work provision. Administration will be through an employer automatic enrollment. Participants may opt out.”

Of course, the health care landscape is a constantly shifting one and so family members and individuals are asked to constantly stay in the know regarding premiums. As long as a plan’s foundation is established, however, those who suddenly need care won’t have to scramble to find their footing.

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