Recent studies have revealed that many Americans don't fully understand how long term care services work and are frequently worried about the potential costs. The worry of healthcare costs and medical services that aren't covered by Medicare can be a source of stress for many seniors. To relieve the financial burden and mental stress, investing in supplemental insurance to cover long term care is often a good choice.
What is long term care?
In some medical cases, a patient will need to remain under medical supervision for an extended period of time. Most of the time, long term care does not refer to medical necessities and services, but rather help with daily functions of personal tasks, also known as activities of daily life or ADLs. Long term care is not usually covered by regular health insurance or Medicare. Long term care insurance policies will help cover the expenses of having a skilled nurse aid in daily activities.
ADLs can include:
- Going to the bathroom
- Moving or transferring
- Caring for the incontinence
Not everyone will need long term care in their life, but it can be a necessity for those with a terminal condition, disability, illness or injury.
How to get long term care coverage
To get coverage for long term care, Americans need to invest in supplemental insurance from private insurance companies. Seniors should not worry about long term care, but should plan for it just in case. While not everyone will need daily assistance through some stage in life, having the coverage can provide peace of mind knowing it won't be a financial disaster if the necessity arises. To ensure continued healthcare coverage, seniors should invest in long term care.
Medicare and long term care
In general, Medicare does not cover long term care. However, some medical services that are deemed medically necessary may be covered as part of healthcare plans. ADLs are typically not considered medically necessary.
When a patient requires skilled nursing, Medicare provides coverage for a short stay in a skilled nursing home, hospice care or health care at home under a few circumstances. Patients must have had a hospital stay for at least three days prior to getting skilled nursing care and have these services deemed necessary. In addition, the patient must be admitted to a nursing facility that is Medicare-approved within 30 days of the hospital stay.
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