California Long Term Care Insurance

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California Long Term Care Insurance
California Long Term Care Insurance

At Vitality we believe that variety equals strength. Rather than undertaking a long arduous path to the collection of quotes for a California Long Term Care Insurance policy, we believe you’ll get the critical product and cost information on the California long term care insurance you’re looking for by relying on the services of a Vitality professional. A Vitality strength is the ability to provide each of our clients with affordable quotes from a host of insurance industry leaders in the field of long term care insurance or LTC as it is also called. Through our strategic partnerships we can provide you with long term care insurance plans that fit your care objectives and household budget. Companies we work with include Assurity, Genworth, John Hancock, MedAmerica, MetLife, Mutual of Omaha, and Prudential. The best part of this variety? It comes free! If you are buying long term care insurance, you do not pay for our services. You do not pay anything for the careful, considered consultation we provide as an independent California health insurance broker. We are paid by the insurer you select as your company of choice for the California long term care insurance you determine will work best for you and your family. No pressure, no cost, and no conflicts: That’s the Vitality way!

Considering a California Long Term Care insurance policy? The professionals at Vitality Health Insurance Services are here to help. For many of us the thought of contemplating a future that involves a stay of any length in a nursing home can be the kind of thinking we force ourselves to put out of our mind because it’s not only a depressing (and distressing) thought, but – faced with current bills for today’s ‘must-haves’ it’s very hard to contemplate adding anything “optional” in the way of yet another California health insurance policy. The fact of the matter though is that contemplating the prospect of a future stay in a nursing home and doing some responsible planning that can help to stave off the potential financial hardship that comes with nursing home care is not morbid or misplaced anxiety on your part.

The fact of the matter is that a careful consideration and planning of your California long term care insurance options and strategies and following through on that planning with a responsible strategy that makes financial sense for your budget is a thoroughly valid and prudent action plan. Given the staggering costs of such services and the percentage of people in society today who do end up utilizing skilled nursing home care, intermediate care, custodial care and within the context of home-based or community-based services incorporating a California long term care element into your financial planning strategy is a sound move!

Here are some statistics which our readers might find enlightening or staggering: It’s estimated that there are presently over 9 million Americans aged 65 and older receiving long term care services and that number is climbing…rapidly. With advancements in technology and our healthcare system, many people can expect to live longer lives. In tandem with a longer lifespan comes an enhanced risk of needing long term care in a facility or receiving home-based help from a skilled provider of such services. And lest you think this is strictly an age “thing”: It is estimated that 40% of people currently receiving long term care are adults aged 18 – 64.

Folks, these are some staggering numbers and we haven’t gotten to the cost part of the equation: Nursing home costs can easily rise north of $50,000 annually into the six figure range, while home-based services can run into the thousands on a monthly basis. The shocking part of this is that the insurance you currently have or think you have doesn’t begin to address long term care insurance California costs. Employer plans don’t typically feature any kind of LTC element and for those of you who are thinking Medicare will be there for you? Think again. There are no provisions in Medicare Part A or B that would address the cost burdens of long term care if the need arose for you or a loved one.

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There are basically three ways to meet the cost obligations that come with long term care:

Exhaust personal assets and savings. If you have planned conscientiously for a well deserved life in retirement, you could easily see that well crafted plan tossed aside to pay for a period of care in either a skilled nursing facility or through a variety of other care scenarios that could be institutional or home based.
Liquidating or transferring assets to qualify for government sponsored plans such as Medi-Cal. Enough said on this option.
That leaves the third option which is to purchase long term care insurance that addresses the cost burden a future long term care need would impose on your finances.
If you’re reviewing these pages at our website, thank you and we’ll assume that your purpose in reviewing your California long term care insurance options today is the third option just mentioned above and that you have the resources to cover the costs of an LTC premium; you wish to preserve your assets or estate for yourself and your family; you lead an independent financial life and you want to keep it that way even in the face of a nursing home stay.

The type of situation that requires the ready availability of California long term care insurance isn’t a mystery in the sense that we can rationalize away the necessity for such coverage in our financial toolbox. Thanks to media coverage, we are all sadly aware of the financial impact that the case of a spouse afflicted with Alzheimer’s could have on a couple getting by on a fixed income or let’s even look at the case of a younger man aged 50, single, living alone, and struggling with the harsh realities of recovering from a fall that produced a broken hip. Situations like these are sadly not “worst case scenarios” but rather a part of the flow of life for a great many Californians who – at the least – can help themselves avoid the financial pain and suffering even if they can’t avoid the pain and suffering that comes from the fallout of life events such as the unfortunate situations suggested above.

California long term care insurance is about just that: Insuring yourself or a loved one in the event that:

Institutional care is needed: this can be a nursing home or convalescent facility involving skilled nursing care or custodial care.

Home care is needed: Homemaker services or personal care when Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are impacted by illness or injury.

Community-based care is needed: You or your spouse still needs to remain employed but a loved one might require the services of an adult day care center. Other examples include hospice care or respite care.

California long term care policies or California LTC insurance can come in a variety of offerings: In this area of coverage we’re specifically looking at care given in a facility that is not an acute care setting or hospital. Here we’re looking at a facility as one of the following venues: nursing homes, assisted living facilities, convalescent homes, extended care and custodial care facilities, nursing homes can also include skilled nursing facilities or personal care homes (think group home setting providing personal care for its residents).

Another available policy option for California long term care insurance: Home care which includes – obviously – home health care, personal care, homemaker services, adult day care, hospice services and respite care in support of caregivers. It should be noted that certain nursing homes also offer both hospice services and respite care too.

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Here are your three categories of California long term care insurance that can be sold in the state:

Nursing Facility/Residential Care Facility California Long Term Care Insurance Policy – Only!

This type of policy covers skilled, intermediate, or custodial care provided to the client in a nursing home or a similar facility. Also covers assisted living care in a residential care facility (RCF) or residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE). Coverage for home care is not a part of these policy offerings.

Home Care California Long Term Care Insurance Policy – Only!

A policy of this type covers home health care needs, and other options such as adult day care, personal care, homemaker services, as well as hospice and respite care coverage but care in nursing facility or the aforementioned RCF types are not covered in this policy.

Comprehensive California Long Term Care Insurance policy
This policy covers your long term care needs in and out of the house so to speak. Coverage is offered for services in both an institutional setting (Think nursing home.) and home/community-based care settings (Think adult day care facility.).

Facility Coverage: In our great state of California the California long term care insurance you buy that offers facility coverage classifies most skilled, intermediate and custodial care as being received in nursing homes that are licensed as “skilled nursing facilities”. Remembering our three classifications above the only policy that won’t cover these services in your California long term care insurance policy is the Home Care Only policy. Use of resident care facilities or resident care facilities for the elderly are also covered herein.

Care at home is likely the priority for most clients. The comfort of home, its familiarity to the client nearly always lends itself to a superior mindset and hopefully a mindset that promotes and speeds healing. A California long term care insurance policy called “Home Care Only” or “Comprehensive Long-Term Care” must include at least the following 6 Home Care benefits and other consumer protections which should make it easier for the insured to receive care at home.

Home Health Care is – as the name implies – either skilled nursing care or some other delivery of professional health care services delivered to you in your residence.
Adult Day Care is care of either a social or medical nature in a daytime program at a licensed facility which provides personal care, supervision, protection and/or assistance with activities of daily living and as well as the taking of medication(s).
Personal Care is assistance you need with any of the activities of daily living and beyond what are known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as using the telephone, managing medications, moving about outside, shopping for essentials, preparing meals, doing laundry and light housekeeping.
Homemaker Services is the assistance you need with activities or tasks necessary to or consistent with your ability to remain in your home.
Hospice Services are services provided in your residence that are covered by your California long term care policy that are designed to provide an array of support for you, your caregiver and family when a terminal illness has been diagnosed. Certain California long term care policies will also pay or reimburse the cost for these services in an institutional setting as well.
Caring for a person with a long term care need can be physically and mentally exhausting. Even the most loving and selfless spouse or caregiver might require the services provided by a shot term care by a professional or team of professionals as provided in a nursing facility, your home or a community-based program which is designed to give relief to the primary caregiver in your home.
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Okay so now we know a bit about what kind of California long term care insurance policies or LTC policies are available and what they are meant to offer in the way of services to you the policyholder. Now let’s take a closer look at what can trigger the benefits of the policies and how those policy benefits are calculated:

Before California long term care insurance benefits can be paid, you must meet certain requirements listed in the policy. In California, long term care insurance companies must pay LTC benefits when you cannot perform 2 activities of daily living (ADLs) (such as bathing, dressing or eating – the entire list can include: bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring (getting into and out of a bed or chair)) or you have an impairment of cognitive ability which means you require substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairment such as the result of a neurological disorder.

The above are benefit “triggers”. Next the policyholder needs to secure a plan of care that is written by your doctor or a medical team that establishes your need for the care spelled out in your California long term care insurance. This plan of care says “here’s what you need in the way of care and here’s how often you need that care”. Your doctor and others like hospital discharge personnel and home health agencies should be well versed in preparing these care plans and just a quick reminder: Your California long term care insurance company might require a periodic update of the plan of care just to keep current with your condition and that the care you are receiving is adequate to the policyholder’s needs.

Next we come to a critical element of the long term care California policy and one you would expect to see on a policy of this nature or perhaps a California disability insurance policy as well: The elimination period. This can affect the cost of long term care insurance you buy. The elimination period in your California long term care insurance policy is also known by a couple of other names too: Waiting period or deductible period. Whatever name your California long term care insurance provider gives it, this is the period of time after which the insurance company says you qualify for care and you are deemed eligible for the benefits in your policy to start kicking in and the insurance company starts paying you your California long term care insurance policy benefits.

Here’s where your comfort level with premium costs become critical to the decision making process as longer elimination periods of 90 -100 days bring lower premiums while lower elimination periods – as low as zero days! – bring the higher premium costs. This is about financial wherewithal and risk tolerance and that is the provenance of insurance policy shoppers everywhere and this is where careful counsel with a concerned, skilled health insurance professional form Vitality Health Insurance can be a huge short and long term benefit to your finances and peace of mind.

Some variables to consider in the California long term care insurance policies you’ll be reviewing in concert with your health insurance professional:

Some California long term care insurance policies only feature one elimination period throughout the life of a policy. Others mandate new elimination periods per each new incident.
Some California long term care insurance policies say that your daily elimination period only goes by each day you receive care per your plan of care rather than by calendar days. In other words, if your plan of care says you should be receiving services three days of the week, then each week that goes by is only counted as three days towards your elimination period rather than seven calendar days. Still other policies state that one service day per week would give you seven days credit towards fulfilling your elimination period requirements. Bear in mind that the more liberal counting of elimination days will typically come with higher premiums so…be aware of that as you consider the pluses and minuses of each policy you have under consideration.
Bottom line is that during the elimination period you are on your own as far as cost burden goes. The entirety of the costs incurred fall on your shoulders.
As the person shopping for your California long term care insurance policy you will need to decide what amount of the daily maximum that you can afford to buy. Again here’s where the skills of a trained health insurance professional at Vitality Health Insurance can help: Together you’ll review the costs of long term care in your California community and then decide what portion of that amount you could afford to pay out-of-pocket after receiving your daily maximum long term care benefit to offset the total daily cost of that care. Another factor here: Inflation protection that will be offered to you by the insurer. With nursing home costs rising at a 5% clip annually here in California the annual nursing home cost estimate of $50,000 is projected to top $100,000 in 14 years. California long term care insurance is exactly the type of insurance you purchase with an eye to the future and with healthcare you can always count on the power of inflation eroding your purchasing power so the inclusion of an inflation protection benefit in your LTC insurance would seem to be the smart bet here. However, if cost demands it, you shouldn’t walk away from California long term care entirely if the inflation protection ride isn’t financially feasible.

Another consideration: The cost of your California long term care insurance premium is also based on the age you purchase your policy. Purchasing that policy at 50 will cost you a premium substantially less than buying the same policy at 64. Obviously, on the flip side, you might never use that policy until you hit 75. Here’s where a free consultation with your Vitality LTC insurance professional can certainly help you work through the options on the table.

Now we come to the selection of a maximum lifetime benefit period for your new long term care insurance California policy. Look, it would be a no-brainer for us to say you should get the longest possible benefit period possible! 10 years? Sure! 15 years? Even better! But let’s consider this: The average stay in a nursing home or an assisted living facility is under three years. For that reason we think that for most people a maximum benefit period of three years will allow the client to have financial latitude in selecting other components of their California long term care policy such as their daily maximums and elimination periods. A family history of long-lasting conditions such as Alzheimer’s might impact that thought process and easily require the consideration of policies that extend out to five years or more. Again this is information to share with your California health insurance professional at Vitality: The more information we have, the better able we are to help you formulate a winning strategy!

There are also alternative California long term care products featuring a hybrid of long term care benefits and universal life insurance in one product wherein the covered policyholder has access to a benefit that will cover long term care expenses but – if those benefits go unused – the policy pays a benefit to beneficiaries or a combination of both. Options: The professionals at Vitality want you to have them – with choice comes strength and the potential for savings. Contact Vitality today for the careful, considerate and cost-free consultation we’re known for!Â

Premium costs for your California long term care insurance policy:
California long term care policies are subject to underwriting at the time of the initial application but are also mandated by California law to be guaranteed renewable. Guaranteed Renewable means your California long term care insurance company may not cancel your coverage unless you do not pay premiums on time. Likewise, your LTC coverage cannot be cancelled because of your age or your health but the company does also have the right to increase your premiums if the California Department of Insurance (CDI) approves the increase (This is for an entire class of insured policyholders and cannot be done on a “personal basis”.) Policies available in California are subject to the “rate stabilization” law which says that premium rates are subject to actuarial review by the Department and rate increases on these California long term care insurance policies are subject to additional review and justification requirements (Think utility rates.).

Contact us for a convenient and free consultation and long term care insurance quote. We’ll also be delighted to offer you an accompanying free Vitality Total Quality consultation on your long term health insurance strategy too! We are your ready resource for long term care information, long term care rates; long term care quotes from leaders in the long term care insurance industry and your guide to long term care insurance options in the state.