Young adults can deem long-term care insurance unnecessary. After all, you’re young, healthy, and have your whole life ahead of you. Why worry about nursing homes and assisted living so early in your life? Well, there are actually a lot of reasons you should be considering long-term care insurance sooner rather than later.
Life is unpredictable, and if you don’t have this essential form of insurance, you can find yourself in a financially difficult situation without many options of how to pay for long-term medical care needs.
Let’s take a look at what long-term care insurance is, how it works, and why you should think about how long-term care insurance can be beneficial to you.
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
A long-term care insurance policy is a form of insurance that pays for your care in situations where you’re unable to take care of yourself, or if you’re unable to perform certain daily activities.
When you hear that, you probably think of the elderly in nursing homes or people with severe disabilities who need 24/7 care regardless of their age.
However, this type of policy can actually be useful for anyone regardless of their age, and you may find yourself in a situation where this insurance policy is the difference between getting the finest care possible and simply not having any support to help if you’re unable to take care of certain daily activities for yourself.
Why do You Need Long-Term Care Insurance for Young Adults?
While a long-term care policy is usually aimed at an older audience due to how likely they are to need long-term care and medical services in a nursing home or assisted living, there are actually many more uses for it. And, while it can be uncomfortable to think about as a young adult, you are just as susceptible to some of the problems and medical conditions covered by long-term care insurance as the elders in your life.
Here are some of the scenarios that can unfortunately force you into a long-term care situation before your time.
Everyone is susceptible to unforeseen catastrophes such as car wrecks and other things that can suddenly leave you with unbelievable injuries. In some cases, when you’re able to take care of yourself but still can’t work, you can rely on disability insurance for these situations. However, in a situation where you become reliant on others for basic survival, long-term care insurance can pay for the care you may need and provide respite for your family.
Loss of Caretakers:
If you are already unable to do things for yourself like bathe alone, get dressed or eat without assistance, then long-term care insurance could really help provide the means to get help, without having to rely upon or burden family.
Additionally, when your caretakers are no longer around, the insurance can pay for the care you need; whether that’s an at-home service or a care facility.
Sudden Disability or Illness:
In many cases, disability insurance is a more practical option for this, but what if the change in your capabilities is so severe that you simply cannot take care of your own basic needs? Some sudden illnesses, such as strokes that can affect people of practically any age, can leave you unable to perform basic daily care tasks for years or even permanently ((1)).
How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?
Long-term care coverage is typically purchased for personal use around the age of 55, and at that point, an annual plan costs around $950, that’s a monthly premium of around $80—that equates to a daily cost of $2.60—the price of a good coffee. If you buy it when you’re younger, your monthly premiums will be even less. However, before getting one you should know also what does disability insurance cover?
However, this opens up a risk/reward balance that you seriously need to consider.
Yes, long-term health care coverage insurance can be extremely useful if something does happen. What happens if you buy it at 30 and don’t use your medical plan until you’re 75, though? Well, you’ll have spent a lot of money on premiums that you didn’t necessarily have to spend. But it still might be cheaper to pay the premiums than the actual cost of care that you’d otherwise have to pay out of pocket.
However, what happens if you choose not to purchase it, and at 35 years of age, you’re horribly injured in a serious car accident and can no longer take care of yourself or control basic bodily functions? Your medical coverage for any long-term care costs, including the cost of specialist medical equipment to care for you could leave your family in financial ruin, or you might not get the care you need to heal or even survive.
This balancing act can make it difficult for young adults to purchase long-term care insurance due to the high costs involved ((2)). However, depending on your financial capabilities—whether you’re looking to purchase it for yourself or for your elderly parents, who might pass their long-term care insurance premium down to you—and your own state of health—should all be taken into consideration. Most financial planners will tell you that more times than not, it’s worth it to be protected.
What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?
Long-term care insurance generally covers anything that requires you to go into a residential care facility, assisted living center, or other form of long-term care, which may also be administered in your home. It’s also good to know benefits of insurance.
This section will cover the various forms of care that long-term care insurance will typically pay for.
Nursing home care facilities and other health care providers are, typically, expensive 24/7 care facilities for individuals who not only require an extensive long-term level of care services for their basic needs but also medical assistance in most cases.
These type of residential care facilities are typically needed for elderly people, but there are some incidents where you can find yourself in need of a skilled nursing facility’s care regardless of how young you are.
Nursing home or long-term care facility stays cost, on average, $6692 per month. Whether the care is for you, or you buy a policy for your parents and they end up needing it, long-term care insurance will typically be the only practical way to pay for such high monthly expenses ((3)), unless you are extremely wealthy and can afford to pay for the care you’ll need.
Assisted living facilities are similar to residential care facilities, but these kinds of services provide a more natural home environment with a lesser focus on medical skilled care. This is typically used for people who can’t necessarily do everything they once could, but can still handle fairly normal life.
Assisted living care for people is usually much cheaper than a nursing home due to the lower need for skilled medical nursing care, but it’s still a hefty $4300 per month on average (depends on where you live). Again, this is usually far too much for the average person to pay out of personal funds, and long-term care insurance can help pay for it ((4)).
In some situations, you may need help with daily tasks, but it’s not so much that you actually need to be placed in a full-time facility or constantly cared for. Instead, an adult daycare service can provide a daytime program and services at a safe and engaging facility for just a few hours a day.
This can be a great option to give respite to, and alleviate the stress of family members or domestic partner while still getting proper care. In some cases, it can be this engagement and focused, yet limited, care that makes life a little easier.
Adult daycare services usually cost about $1492 per month, and there are typically several payment options available. This may be affordable depending on your financial state, but it’s still not a figure to scoff at ((5)).
If you’d like to reduce the costs of your long-term care, and even provide an opportunity for a family member to get paid for taking care of you, long-term care insurance can pay for caretaker training.
This is a program that teaches and certifies a preferred caretaker, without the need for prior experience or skills, to become your primary care provider of non-emergency care in the comfort of your own home every day. They even get an hourly wage for doing so to compensate them for the loss of other work opportunities.
If a family member becomes your primary care provider, that’s a positive thing. It prevents you from having to enter a care facility that, try as it might, can never equate to your normal at-home experience. However, that’s also a major burden for your family member, and it’s highly stressful. They have to take on a long list of responsibilities to provide you with personal care, and that can take from their own lives.
Respite care services are designed to aid with this and take care of your family members. A trained professional will come in for a period so your family member can focus on themselves while you still get the care you need. This is often done regularly to provide your family with a much-needed break to pursue their own goals or relieve stress.
At-Home Nursing and Homemaker Services:
If your health condition doesn’t require you to enter a facility, but still need fairly extensive care that exceeds what your family can do, at-home nursing to help with your daily living is an option. This is when a professional medical provider comes to perform necessary medical tasks that don’t need a hospital environment; things like a routine health check including vitals.
Similar to this, there are personal care and homemaker services. Personal care and homemaker services don’t perform skilled medical tasks, but they do provide you with the independence of living at home; even when you can’t properly care for your home and your own basic needs. Personal care and homemaker services perform housekeeping chores, meal preparation, and other everyday tasks you may have trouble with.
Both of these services are separate from one another, but they offer similar assistance, and they cost nearly the same amount.
Depending on the service hired, you can expect to pay $147 to $150 for an at-home nurse or homemaker professional. This price is typically paid per day ((6)).
How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Pay?
As you can probably tell, the types of services needed for long-term care are not cheap. In fact, they can be financially crippling even for people who had long, fruitful careers in top fields for decades. They’re simply too expensive, and they drain savings and assets quickly.
So, long-term care insurance obviously has to pay quite a bit to provide genuine protection from these astronomical costs, right? Well, luckily, it usually does. You can also learn more about what long-term care insurance covers to help you along your journey.
Long-term care insurance will pay varying amounts for various services depending on which specific policy you purchase but it will generally pay $165,000 in benefits with a 3% benefit increase periodically ((7)).
This is a massive financial reprieve from the costs highlighted in the previous section, and it may even reduce your costs to $0 depending on what type of services you’re receiving.
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Is Long-Term Care Insurance Worth it for Young Adults?
For this, you have to think of it in a couple of different ways.
If you don’t buy it and need it, you may end up ruining yourself financially. It’s not the most likely possibility, but it’s possible. However, if you do buy it and don’t use it, you can be wasting money every year on premiums.
This makes it necessary for you to balance the cost of the insurance versus your own income. It’s probably not worth struggling to eat, but if you have the luxury of spare income, it can be life-changing protection.
Also, consider purchasing a policy for your parents or communicating with them about the need for long-term care insurance. If they aren’t insured and need it, which they’re more likely to need it than you are, their financial burdens might become your own.
How Should You Determine if Long-Term Care Insurance for Young Adults is Right for You?
Buying a stand-alone long-term care policy as a young adult is a more complicated decision than something such as health insurance or disability insurance. You have to consider your financial capabilities, weigh the risks of both having the insurance and not having it, and various other factors. It’s better to think about aging and long term care now rather than later.
We don’t recommended that you search for long-term care insurance on your own. Instead, contact a professional insurance consultation group such as Policy Solver for a hands-on walkthrough of all your options.
A qualified long-term care insurance agent can assess your financial state, look at what you’re likely to need, and recommend a plan that meets your needs without breaking you financially. You’ll also get access to a massive network of insurers to ensure you get the best price possible.
Don’t search for long-term care insurance on your own. Consult Policy Solver to make the best insurance decisions possible.
Don’t search for long-term care insurance on your own. Consult Policy Solver to make the best insurance decisions possible.
1: Taken from US Department of Health and Human Services, 02/25/2022, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-long-term-care
2: Taken from Simply Insurance, 02/25/2022, https://www.simplyinsurance.com/how-much-does-long-term-care-insurance-cost/
3: Taken from Seniorcare.com, 02/25/2022, https://www.seniorcare.com/nursing-homes/resources/nursing-home-costs/
4: Taken from Caring.com, 02/25/2022, https://www.caring.com/senior-living/assisted-living/how-much-does-assisted-living-cost/
5: Taken from Seniorcare.com, 02/25/2022, https://www.seniorcare.com/adult-day-care/resources/adult-day-care-costs/
6: Taken from Seniorliving.org, 02/25/2022, https://www.seniorliving.org/nursing-homes/costs/
7: Taken from Smartasset.com, 02/25/2022, https://smartasset.com/insurance/how-much-does-long-term-care-insurance-cost