Harris Madden & Powell

Across America there is a significant trend that is shaping the demographic, economic and political landscape of our nation. In short, we are living longer resulting in a substantial increase in the number of people living into their eighties and nineties. This trend represents one of the greatest population shifts in American history. This “age shift” in the population was quite literally born out of the great “baby boom” that followed the end of World War II and continued into the 1950s. “Baby boomers” are now reaching the age where their attention has turned to matters such as retirement, healthcare, and an entire set of products and services associated with senior living.

As a result of rapid advances in healthcare people are living longer. However, these advances in prescription drugs, medical technology and procedures do not come without cost. One of the greatest challenges facing many families is the overall cost of healthcare and the potential cost of long term-care in the latter years of life.

Long-term care can take place in a variety of forms including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care services and in-home care. What is important to understand is that regular health insurance does not cover the expenses associated with long-term care. Those expenses can be significant:

Nursing Home - Private Room - $55,181 Average Annual Rate

Nursing Home – Semi-Private - $50,034 Average Annual Rate

Assisted Living Facility – Private Room - $25,920 Average Annual Rate

Home Health Aide – Medicare Certified - $50.90 Per Hour

Source: Genworth Financial 2006 Cost of Care Survey

Many people believe that long-term care is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare does not pay for long-term care except in very specific instances and that coverage only lasts for the first 100 days. The only time state Medicaid programs pay for long term care is for low income patients or after a patient has exhausted their personal assets. Most state programs have “spend down” requirements that can leave individuals with greatly reduced assets. Clearly, the financial liability to individuals and their families is significant.

What is the probability that you will need long-term care? After age 65, there is a 70% chance that an individual will need some form of long-term care. It is important to note that many long-term care cases extend beyond one year. In fact, a substantial number of cases extend beyond three years.

Fortunately, there is a solution to the challenge of how to pay for long-term care. Several years ago the insurance industry recognized the financial risk that clients and their families were encountering as a result of long-term care. As a result, companies developed long-term care insurance plans to counter the risk. Today, many insurance companies offer this important coverage.

What Are the Six Primary Reasons to Purchase Long-Term Care

  • To avoid being a burden to others
  • To maintain financial independence
  • To assure access to quality long-term care
  • To maximize the choice of services including longer home-based care
  • To preserve assets for a spouse and heirs
  • To ensure peace of mind

Many individuals and families should consider the purchase of long-term care insurance as part of their family insurance plan. Harris Madden & Powell has in-depth experience working with clients to develop the appropriate long-term care plans. The agency represents many of the leading long-term care insurance companies in America. We encourage you to contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more. 



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