Long-term care

What is long-term care?

Long-term care is help you need when you can no longer perform such basic activities of daily life as bathing, dressing, and eating. This might be due to a physical disorder or a cognitive problem such as dementia. Often, the care you need involves personal care services as opposed to skilled care from a nurse or other medical provider.

Neither Medicare nor other traditional health insurance cover most of these long-term care services.

Long-term care costs

This Oregon data comes from the Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey. These are yearly, mid-point costs.

  • Semi-private nursing home room: $82,125
  • Private room in an assisted living facility: $46,200
  • Home health aide (44 hours a week): $48,048
  • Homemaker services (44 hours a week): $45,760

​Long-term care insurance

Insurance is just one option to pay for long-term care. The best way to pay for care depends on your finances, your family, and your personal preferences. The earlier you start planning, the more options you may have.

​Deciding whether to buy long-term care insurance

Long-term care insurance might not be the best choice if you:

  • Can’t afford the premiums now or in the long run
  • Have limited assets
  • Only have income from a Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Often have trouble paying for utilities, food, medicine, or other basic needs
  • Are on Medicaid   
  • Are covered for long-term care by the Veterans Administration

Consider buying long-term care insurance if you:

  • Have significant assets and income
  • Want to protect some of your assets and income
  • Can pay premiums, even if they increase, without financial difficulty
  • Want to stay independent of the support of others
  • Want to choose care in the setting you prefer

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