Long-term care insurance for consumer directed care

No one wants to believe that someday they will need help with everyday tasks. But the truth is, at some point, most of us will need some form of senior care. The vast majority of us have a strong desire to age at home, but that means someone needs to be there regularly to provide that support and assistance. For some, that's one or more family members. For others, it may mean hiring a professional to provide custodial care (i.e. non-medical assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and companionship) until such time that medical needs necessitate a Skilled Nursing Facility.

That professional providing custodial care may be among a group of caregivers employed by a home care agency (agency-directed care) or a privately-employed caregiver who will be there day-in and day-out and work directly for the patient/family (consumer-directed care).

Since care is typically the largest expense item for many seniors, many financial experts recommend considering a long-term care (LTC) insurance policy to help pay for the cost of care.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that helps pay for expenses related to the care of an elderly individual. According to the AARP, approximately 7.2 million Americans have a long-term care insurance policy. Different carriers provide different amounts and types of coverage so its important to look closely at the details before purchasing a policy. There are also some life insurance products that allow some of the death benefit to be converted into long-term care coverage.

How do you qualify for benefits?

Again, this can vary by policy, but generally when a person is unable to perform a certain amount of basic daily tasks, a long-term care insurance policy can begin paying out benefits so the person can have someone in their home to assist with these tasks. Some of these activities of daily living or ADLs can include bathing, dressing, eating, lifting, using the restroom and walking. Some policies can begin paying benefits if you are diagnosed with a cognitive condition like Alzheimers disease.

You'll find that some older policies have provisions that mandate agency-directed care. In recent years, we've seen a significant trend toward also accepting consumer-directed care because it is typically the most cost-effective form of care and preferred for cognitive-decline cases that need care continuity/stability of caregiver. However, LTC carriers are worried about fraud so they require consumer-directed care to be carefully documented and the employment to be handled in a professional and compliant manner.

Our HomePay service was built to support families who opt to hire a caregiver or small team of caregivers (i.e. consumer-directed care). If you're paying out of pocket or have a long-term care policy, our team can provide payroll documentation and tax calculations to assist in reimbursements - freeing up valuable time on your end.

If you have any questions about purchasing a long-term care insurance policy or making a claim with a private hire caregiver, dont hesitate to call us. We're here to help!