By Rick Stewart
Nursing homes have received a lot of attention recently, and not in a good way. According to analysis completed for the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, 42% of all COVID-19 deaths are taking place in facilities that house 0.62% of the U.S. population.
In many states this number is even greater - Minnesota has been especially hard hit, reporting as many as 81% of all COVID-19 deaths from nursing and residential care facilities.
Spending years in a nursing home is not something people look forward to. For those who plan ahead and purchase long-term care insurance, it may be possible to avoid the nursing home all together. According to the Association for Long Term Care, more than half of individuals who filed a long-term care claim and also owned a LTCi policy received care at home. That’s right, in their own home.
LTCi is not nursing home insurance. LTCi polices, both traditional and hybrid life policies with LTC riders, are comprehensive and have numerous benefits that make it possible for clients to stay at home when they need care.
If staying at home is important to a client, make sure to look for policies with these seven features:
Home Health Care
When the policyholder qualifies for claim, home health care benefits help clients stay home as long as possible. These benefits include personal care, homemaker services, and professional services from a nurse, home health aide or therapist.
If clients need to build a ramp or widen a doorway, they can use part of their benefits to pay for modifications to their homes.
Durable Medical Equipment
When you help clients choose a policy that covers durable medical equipment, they have coverage for things such as an adjustable hospital bed, wheelchair and other qualifying equipment that may be necessary to remain at home.
If clients have a family member who wants to help with caregiving, this benefit will pay for training so that family member will have the skills needed to provide care.
What happens when a caregiver gets sick or takes a vacation? Respite care steps in and provides a short-term caregiver to temporarily replace a client’s normal care providers.
Indemnity Or Cash Benefits Rider
Indemnity policies or cash benefit riders pay a cash benefit when clients are benefit eligible and have a written plan of care. Cash benefits allow clients to pay anyone – even a spouse or a neighbor - to provide care.
An LTC event can happen at any time, and can catch clients and their families off guard. Care coordination enables the insurance company to assign a licensed health care provider to assess the clients' needs, help develop a plan of care, and find the available resources in their area to provide the care.
Rick Stewart is director, long-term care sales, with Crump Insurance Services. Rick may be contacted at [email protected].
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