Planning for long-term care is a tricky proposition. Not only do people have to navigate many complex options for funding care, but they must have to ask a lot of tough questions. The costs of long-term care can be mind-boggling. Even worse, it can be hard to account for the many unseen costs that may be encountered along the way.
When planning for future long-term care needs, people need to consider some of the hidden costs that may sneak up on you.
1.) The Costs that Aren’t Included
You may be surprised – especially given the large price tag – at what long-term care options don’t cover. Whether you’re at a facility or receiving in-home care, make sure you always ask which costs are not included in the sticker price. Typically, some of these additional expenses may be transportation, dietary supplements, personal care supplies, and furniture. You may also find that some services – like certain household tasks or one-on-one care – may not be covered. Make a list of everything you might need and ask providers what’s covered and what’s not.
2.) Moving or Relocating
If you or a loved one are in a position where you have to move to a new facility, you’ll likely be responsible for the costs of moving. Not only does this include any special medical transportation, but also the cost to move furniture and any move-in fees a facility might charge. Some of these costs may be covered by insurance, but others may not be. Be sure to budget for these expenses.
3.) Assistive Devices or Equipment
One important part to planning for long-term care is to consider what your insurance covers. While it likely covers most of your medical needs, it may not cover some special devices or equipment – especially “upgrade” options – that you may need or want. Consider buying supplemental insurance or saving a little extra so that you can afford special equipment in the future.
4.) Insurance Deductibles and Co-Pays
It’s easy to fall into the assumption that if your insurance covers a service, you’re set. But watch out for insurance deductibles and co-pays, which in some cases may be very steep. Use these extra costs help guide your budget planning.
5.) Home Expenses
If your hope is to stay in your own home, you may find that you have to make some costly modifications to your dwelling to make it more habitable. These modifications might include the installation of a ramp, the addition of handicapped equipment, or widened doorways. Once again, while insurance may cover some of these costs, you may be surprised at what is not covered. Consider these expenses when you’re planning your care options.
As they tell us in school—the only bad question is the one that isn’t asked. When it comes to handling the expensive costs of long-term care, no one should stop asking questions until the have a 100% clear picture of what they are getting into and how much it will ALL cost.
Chris Orestis is a nationally recognized senior care advocate and expert in retirement, long-term care and specialty senior living funding solutions. The author of two books, numerous published papers and articles, and a frequent industry speaker; he is the innovator that brought the LTC Life Settlement into the market over a decade ago.
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