Dan Nicholas, CLU, CLTC Long Term Care Planner
Long term care is in home care, assisted living care, adult day care of nursing home care for a chronic health condition (chronic: you're not getting any better any time soon). This is a non acute (acute: I see you're almost well now, getting better and you'll be going home soon) care situation, because it is chronic, and expected to last over 90 days. This is "long term health care" and such events are not covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal (where you must first be poor or spend down to $2,000); nor are such events covered by (short-term) health insurance at work.
For those 65+ today, one in four will live to age 90, says Social Security. The Federal Government also says 4 out of 5 are uninsured or under insured for extended chronic care...and the average cost in California is $80,000 per year for skilled care. If a loved one in your family had a stroke, dementia, Parkinson's, head injury, prolonged cancer...do you have $80,000 a year for 3 yrs. = $240,000 on hand? Or $80k a year for 4 yrs for $320,000 on hand? Only 8% of California has Long Term Care coverage in place says DHCS LTC Partnership. It's almost never too late to plan.
While "self funding" for a LTC risk would appear an OK plan for the rich or for the poor, the state and federal government is now encouraging those of us among middle America to explore private long term care coverage while while we are young and healthy and premiums are available and affordable. If you have loved ones and/or assets, maybe it's time to explore Long Term Care?