Archive | January 2014

Long Term Care Regulations for Nursing Homes

Are there long term care regulations implemented in America? Long term care is a special area of healthcare designed to help meet your health or personal care needs for long periods of time. It is a growing industry considering that people are living much longer nowadays.

Medicare, which is a government funded healthcare program, caters to Americans who are above the age of 65. To some extent, it covers long term care and other health services for older individuals. To preserve quality standards in long term care facilities, a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulates long terms care facilities in collaboration with state and local authorities.

 

Long Term Care Regulations for Residents of Nursing Care Facilities

The Federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act (OBRA ’87) created an emphasis on the quality of life of LTC residents as well as the quality of care provided by long term care facilities. Under OBRA ’87, you have the right to receive the right respect and equal opportunities in nursing care facilities. It should be equal with that of people living in larger communities. In order for nursing care facilities to meet federal Resident Rights requirements, they should participate in Medicare or Medicaid. If you are a resident of long term care facilities, you need to know that you have the right to access your medical or clinical records and to know any changes that may impact your rights as resident, including changes in federal and state laws.

 

Standards of Care and Quality of Life

As a long term care resident you have the right to make decisions that would impact your quality of life. You also have the right to meet family members or receive visitors. Thus, your long term care facility should set aside a private space for small family gatherings or group meetings. Moreover, as a resident, you have the right to practice your religion and to enjoy social activities. Your long term care facility should also make sure that the area is clean and safe so that quality of life is maintained.

 

Pharmacy Services

If you are a resident in an LTC facility, your doctor would most probably prescribe medicine that will help you improve your health. Therefore, LTC facilities are required to hire licensed pharmacists who can dispense medicine and prescribe biological materials. Furthermore, long term care settings should have a proper storage for their medications. Pharmaceuticals and biologics must be properly labeled.

 

If you have relatives living in nursing homes or long term care facilities you need to understand about the their rights as LTC residents. Like other Americans, they have the right to receive quality health care services. If your relative is unable to act upon their own behalf, there must be a legal representative or family member who can make decisions for him or her. To understand the different long term care regulations, you can talk to long term care providers who can answer all your LTC concerns.

 

Sources:

  • aaltic.org
  • infolongtermcare.org
  • longtermcare.gov

A Summary of Long Term Care Insurance Basics

If you are 50 years old and above, you may worry about many things aside from getting older. There is the decline of health and physical strength. Then there is retirement and the challenge of sustaining yourself financially. It is a good thing that long term care insurance basics will help you cope with these problems.

In case you do not know, long term care insurance is a system of payments or benefits given regularly to seniors so they can manage their health and well-being. It is especially important for seniors who have chronic illnesses, cognitive difficulties, and frail bodies.

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Aside from health concerns, you may need a long term care insurance policy in order to maintain your wealth. Those in the upper class of society may spend for long term care through their own money instead of through a policy. However, if you are unsure that you can manage the increasing expenses of long term care then you are advised to get a long term care insurance policy.

An important reminder in long term care insurance basics is that policies can provide you a multitude of options for the type of long term care you may need or want. Skilled long term care is intended for seniors with serious health complications, and is administered by doctors and nurses. Custodial care, on the other hand, provides seniors with caregiver assistance in everyday activities – especially tasks that involve proper hygiene.

In addition, you may want to check out a long term care insurance policy’s system of payment. Payments can be given daily or monthly depending on your choice. Remember that there are many policies with elimination or waiting periods. You have to wait for a specific time period before you can receive benefits from the policy. You have to pay more if you want a shorter elimination period.

Private policies usually allow you to choose from many options of long term care services and facilities. You may select in-home care, which enables you to receive long term care within your own home. Nurses and caregivers visit you and make sure that you are healthy, take medication regularly, and manage your daily living through caregiver support.

Facilities that offer long term care outside of the home include nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Nursing homes accommodate seniors with chronic illnesses and those who require additional treatment and medication. Healthier senior citizens may reside in assisted living facilities with fellow seniors and get caregiver assistance, housekeeping, and other benefits.

The costs of long term care vary among states, and even among areas within states. Densely-populated areas and urban centers tend to have more expensive long term care services.

Long term care insurance policies from private companies can be really expensive. Lower class citizens can still get long term care from Medicaid provided that they meet the requirements and asset ownership limit. Recent long term care partnerships enable more Americans to obtain affordable yet quality long term care.

You can buy long term care insurance policies from state-licensed insurance agents or companies. As additional advice from long term care insurance basics, take time to assess and compare policies so you can get the proper one for you.

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Learning more about Long Term Health Care Insurance

Still haven’t found the right health care plan that suits your needs? Still haven’t found a compatible insurance policy that will give you the right benefits when you need it? Still struggling to find an insurance company that doesn’t give you a hard time in acquiring the benefits and costs that you are looking for? Worry no more because all of your problems can be solved by long term care health insurance.

family-vacation

New policies have been marketed to prospective inquirers for long term care who do not find the conventional policies fitting their lifestyles and even their budgets. These new policies have been mixed and matched to suit the needs of prospective enrollees who have knowledge of current policies but decide to make their own terms with the coverage of the policy. This is where they interchange the initial costs with coverage and services to be received.

A common integration with these mixed or combo policies are having an “early” or “accelerated” death benefits whereas the benefactor may take portions of the death benefits, given the condition that they have been severely ill or experienced a physically traumatizing accident which would need a considerable amount of financial support. From that you can see how flexible long term health care insurance can be and not what the common notion is that it is fixed and cannot fit your needs.

Due to this change in marketing strategy of LTCI vendors, a large percentage of the population had been noted as LTCI benefactors. A dramatic increase up to 68% was showing with the surveys and has indicated a great increase of number of sales as well as benefactors. This has proven that most Americans have given interest more with LTCI after they found out that the policies can be redesigned specifically for their demands.

So now you know that these policies are no longer fixed to a specific set of coverage, take the time to look at the other side of the deal which would be the financial side. Though the coverage can be interchanged it also means that you have to be aware of possible changes with the standard rates as well. And also, you may be able to set a package that would fit your possible needs, but the amount of that might go up and beyond your budget and expected costs of rates.

Along with these interchangeable packages, a recent group was interviewed in terms of satisfaction. According to the respondents, they were happy with the deals at a cost. These LTCI benefactors were paying 15% – 25%, particularly higher in the annual premium, more than the benefactors who were under standard policies. Another disadvantage is the possible chance of drying out the financial payout of the coverage since there is no limit in taking out funds in the advanced death benefits.

Now is the time for you to check on the latest trends with LTCI and be sure to check them out while you are you are still financially capable and physically healthy. Don’t let time run out and go get yourself a long term health care insurance.

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5 Excuses For Not Planning For Long Term Care

While studies show that 8 million Americans already purchased long term care (LTC) insurance, this is still considered within the minority compared to the total number of people who need it. Among the common misconception about ltci were discussed in the above article. People usually think that the government will take care of them when they grow old and that they are too young to purchase it. Apparently, the US government offers medicare and medicaid but medicare only covers skilled care and not custodial care while with medicaid, you need to pass certain poverty criteria before you qualify. And it is not necessarily true that ltc insurance is for the seniors, who says that young adult is not prone to accident and illness? These could make them a dependent of ltc services. And if you think that ltci is expensive, try comparing the amount of premiums you have to pay to the amount of money you will be needing to pay for caregivers and long term care facilities. So if you are still having a second thought on buying this kind of annuity, think of your loved ones, do you want to be a burden to them when you develop a condition that would require you to be on ltc? Think again…

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The Insurance Barn

Slide4Right now, most Americans are grumbling about Obamacare.  There is no question that the new laws and subsidies will help low-income Americans.  The problem is that the help they are getting is hurting middle-class American entrepreneurs.

Self-employed people have to work hard for the profits they enjoy.  Many struggled in the past to earn enough, after expenses, to pay premiums for health insurance.

Unfortunately, many middle-class Americans will work too hard to qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for the higher health insurance premiums.

If they do not pay for the higher premiums, their government is going to force them to pay a penalty tax.  Mr. Obama refuses to admit that the “Shared Responsibility Payment” that is in the PPACA is a tax.  However, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the penalty is an additional tax in June, 2012.

Not only is the government mandating that middle-class Americans pay…

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You can’t rely on Medicare and Medicaid to cover long term care

This is a common misconception and one of the main reasons why people ignore the importance of getting long term care (LTC) insurance. Most of them think that the government will take care of them should they be needing ltc services in the future. Medicare and Medicaid are federal programs, medicare helps people pay for long term care services but only for a limited period of time while medicaid pay for it if you pass their eligibility requirements. With the increasing numbers of Americans aged 65 years and older, ltci is now a pressing issues among seniors. As soon as you are not able to perform 2 or 3 of the daily activities (eating, dressing or bathing) you are already an ltc dependent, and even if you are still able to perform these activities, you may still be a dependent of these service if you develop a chronic condition. And the cost of care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other care facilities does not come cheap. You may spend up to $100K annually for nursing homes depending on your location. So you might want to consider getting one for yourself, but before you freak out and purchase one, do your assignment first. Research, read about the issue and talk to experts.

Sources:

  •  www.aaltci.org
  •  longtermcare.gov
  •  infolongtermcare.org

Boomerandseniornews's Blog

Don’t think you will need Long Term Care Insurance, you may want to think again! Nearly 60 percent of those over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime.

What exactly is Long-term care insurance (LTC or LTCI)? It is an insurance product sold in the United States and United Kingdom and helps provide for the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period. Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

People who require long-term care are generally not sick in the traditional sense, but instead, are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, continence, transferring (getting in and out of a bed or chair), and walking. Read more…

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Benefits of Early Long Term Care Planning

Do you have everything planned out for your retirement? Does your plan include long term care? Statistics show that approximately 75 percent of Americans, 65 years and above will in due course require long term care.

The cost of this type of care is constantly rising. In order to afford LTC, experts say that you will need a quarter of a million dollars in as little as three years. With that said experts highly recommend long term care planning as early as possible to prevent financial difficulties in the future.

Why You Need To Plan For Your Retirement

Retirement is indeed an important life event that you will experience. You need to plan ahead in order to meet your goals and to stay on top of your finances. If you will look at both personal and financial stand point, to have a comfortable retirement you need to exercise good judgment early on. Managing your retirement is an ongoing responsibility that carries well until you transition to your golden years.

What is Long Term Care Planning?

Understanding the natural progression of long term care and the possible resources available are important areas that you need to explore in your LTC plan. The process also involves understanding the different care settings available and knowing the different government long term care programs. Examples of LTC settings are home care, assisted living, senior housing, nursing homes and continuing-care retirement community.

Exploring the different care settings will help you decide what type of coverage you will choose if you’re going to purchase LTC insurance. These days, there are private insurance providers that offer LTC coverage. Long term care insurance plans differ from one another. You need to find the type of policy that you think will work with your particular situation best.

Benefits of Early Long Term Care Planning

Early planning has several benefits. By thinking ahead and making well-informed decisions, you will be able to protect your loved ones. Moreover, by investing in long term care insurance, you are protecting yourself from financial difficulties.

Remember that long term care services are extremely costly. For example, a nursing home private room now averages $77,000 per year, and basic home health services can cost you $21 per hour. If you have LTC insurance, you can live a stress free life knowing that you have an insurance plan to back you up. This will help cover the cost of expensive long term care services.

It is never too early or too late to save and plan for your retirement. Remember that when you retire, you are likely to lose your most important source of income. Another important fact about getting old is that medical problems are pretty common during retirement. This is because your body continues to deteriorate with age. To help you make a smooth transition to retirement, talk to your family about long term care planning. Secure your future as early as you can, so that you and your family can continue living a worry-free life.

 

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Why long-term care insurance has yet to catch on

There are several reasons why long term care (LTC) insurance has not taken off despite the increasing numbers of people who are already 65 years and older. In fact, people who need it most are the one who ignore it, even surveys show that a lot of younger people aged 18-34 are more active in long term care planning.

The significance of long term care insurance is widely ignored despite the advantages and benefits it offer. Mainly, because of misconception, doubts, misinformation and most of the time due to the challenge it may bring to their financial stability.

These are the reasons behind the issue why ltc insurance has yet to catch on: http://www.infolongtermcare.org/long-term-care_information/6-myths-about-long-term-care/.

Financial Post | Business

Long Term Care Insurance is the Rodney Dangerfield of insurance — it gets no respect.

The product is widely ignored despite the fact that Baby Boomers are already turning 65 and 25% of Canadians will be over 65 by the year 2036. We develop more health problems as we age — so why aren’t more people buying this kind of insurance?

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association reports that 74% of Canadians admit they have no financial plan in place to pay for long term care in their retirement planning. That will make things very difficult given that the current costs of care in long term facilities can easily exceed $5,000 a month. Personal care at home ranges from $12 to $90 an hour.

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Here are five top reasons why LTC insurance has not taken off:

1. “The government will take care of me” We live in…

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What is the cost of long-term care in New York?

New York has one of the most expensive long term care services in the US. and with the statistics provided herein, it is a great challenge to seniors living in New York…And although Medicare and Medicaid are available in this City, they are still way more expensive than the average cost. Of course, if ltc services are expensive, it follows that ltc insurance is also costly. The best way to reduce the cost is to relocate to another city which offers affordable ltc services. Of course, not everyone is amenable to relocating so here’s a few guide on how to minimize the cost of ltci in New York: http://www.infolongtermcare.org/how-to-minimize-long-term-care-insurance-costs-in-new-york-state/

Do The Right Thing Insurance

According to the NYS Partnership:

Median
Annual Cost*
Home Care
Homemaker Services (44 hours per week)
$45,760
Home Health Aide (44 hours per week)
$50,336
Adult Day Health Care
Adult Day Health Care (5 days per week)
$19,500
Assisted Living Facility
Private, One Bedroom
$47,400
Nursing Home
Semi-Private Room
$120,998
Private Room
$125,732
To see the cost of care in New York by region, click here:
https://www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/New%20York_gnw.pdf
*All figures are from Genworth’s 2013 Cost of Care Survey (conducted by CareScout).

For the full report and newsletter, click here.Partnership Press Winter 2013-2014

2014 LTC tax deductions

aaron

Contact me for a quote and or ideas on how to leverage  a life insurance policy to access LTC benefits as an alternative.

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How to Take Care for the Elderly – Fall Prevention

Falling accidents are one of the easiest to prevent yet also one of the most common incidents of injury. While we teach our children early on to be aware of the dangers of falling and to recognize hazards, we will also need to assist our aged loved ones because they will be more susceptible from suffering from it. Knowing how to take care for the elderly by helping them avoid falls is an important component in senior care.

walking-senior

It’s taken for granted that losing balance and getting generally weaker are only some of the effects of aging. The elder becomes more prone to slipping on floors or missing a step, resulting in devastating injury that could result in disability, even death. There have been a recorded 20,400 incidents of seniors falling in the country back in 2009, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A fall could cause fractures in the hip or pelvis, or even damage the spine or produce head concussions. Long term care may or may not be necessary for those who suffer from falling accidents depending on the gravity of the injury, but more often than not, there’s a mental trauma involved that would make them become more adverse towards it happening again. This could develop into staying away from moving outside or socializing with friends if unchecked.

To learn how to take care for the elderly and help prevent falling, you need to know the most common causes that lead to it. Usually, accidents happen when elders suddenly become dizzy and lose their footing. Having blurred vision could also lead to them missing their step at the right place. Aside from these, tripping on obstacles is also highly likely, especially in homes with a lot of clutter that clog hallways and rooms.

To this end, it’s highly advised that families with elders living at home secure their house by clearing up their passageways and removing objects that could cause tripping. Anything from toys, boxes, spills, bottles, etc. could be a potential fall hazard.

Next, modifying the home to be more elder-friendly can also reduce the chances of an accidental fall. Place support bars in the bathroom and bedroom so that the elder can have easy to reach supports they can grab. On stairs, improve the railing and steps by making it less slippery. On hallways, place hand rails so they can hold on to it while walking through.

Elders should also be encouraged to exercise and move more, instead of staying only in one place. Contrary to belief that this would make them more tired and worsen their conditions, it can actually keep them stronger by ensuring that their muscles are regularly used. Not moving about could also increase the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

Preventing a fall is not difficult at all, and with minimal assistance, your elder can be able to remain independent while keeping safe from injury. By discovering how to take care for the elderly properly, you can improve their senior life as well as minimize the assistance and care you provide for them.

Source: http://www.infolongtermcare.org/long-term-health-care-seniors/senior-health-care/prevent-falling/

How Long Term Care Partnership Program Works

Long term care partnership program is a public-private partnership of states and private insurance companies that aim to reduce Medicaid expenses by eliminating or delaying the need for some people to rely on Medicaid for their long term care services.

Long term care partnership programs also encourage people to plan for their long term care needs even at an early stage. In that way, people will be less likely to depend on Medicaid in terms of their long term care needs and would still be able to protect their assets as they receive their long term care services.

The point of having long term care partnership program is that when you are done with your long term care insurance policy and you still need the service, Medicaid would provide for you without having your assets stripped down to about $2, 000 which is the standard amount of how much you could keep in your assets for Medicaid to pay for your long term care services.

So for example you applied for long term care partnership policy with a value of about $200, 000, when you have used up your long term care insurance benefits and you would still need to receive long term care insurance, you could use your long term care partnership policy. Medicaid could pay for your additional expenses regarding long term care without depleting your resources to $2, 000. You would be allowed to have $200, 000 in your properties and assets. Once you have spent amounts of your assets over $200, 000, Medicaid could now provide and pay for your long term care needs. 

In this way, you are able to protect what you own and still receive extensive duration of long term care. You are also able to save up instead of spending more for extending the service that you receive. Also, Medicaid gets benefit from this as well for people would have to take responsibility of their long term care needs and not depend on them for the entire duration of their needs. 

Considerations before Having Long Term care Partnership Program

One thing that you have to know before getting long term care insurance is that not all of them are partnership-qualified. You should talk to your agent or insurer to know if your policy could qualify for a partnership program. But some of the requirements of partnership qualified policies are: it must be tax-qualified, the policy must offer inflation protection based in specific age brackets of purchase, and the policy must meet requirements of 2000 NAIC Long Term Care Model Act and Regulation.

Another is that policies issued before the partnership’s effective date which is February 8, 2006, are not qualified. However, it is possible to exchange your policy and get a partnership-qualified one.

Take note that eligibility for Medicaid is not automatic and there are qualifications and conditions that you should pass first before you could get the additional services. Medicaid services also vary in each state.

Partnership programs may also differ in every state and you should check their terms first before you get one.

These processes of partnership programs explain how these could help you get long term care and prolong your duration of receiving services.

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