One in two Americans will need long-term medical care during their lifetime – and this percentage will keep growing, thanks to advances in medicine that keep extending the average lifespan.

The more we age, the more help we need – which means a serious health problem (such as a serious fall, cognitive impairment or heart attack) can make us unable to support ourselves and dependent on others for health care. What’s more, this need is by no means limited to seniors: More than one in three people (37%) receiving long-term care services are younger than 65!

Long-Term Care insurance (LTC) can help pick up the tab for these often pricey services by covering expenses that your Health policy doesn’t include. It can also protect your family’s assets by removing the financial burden on your family and friends of paying for your care, or of caring for you themselves – responsibilities that you wouldn’t want them to assume. As a rule, LTC coverage will pay for care in your home, an adult day care or assisted living facility, or a nursing home. The policy benefits will kick in as soon as you require assistance.

Without LTC, you, or your family, would have to pay for these services – which can create a staggering financial burden that could last for years. It costs more than $70,000 a year to staying in a nursing home, a figure that’s projected to hit $190,600 by 2030. The average wage for home care aides comes to $32.50 an hour, an expense that can add up quickly because more and more people need 24-7 care.

Don’t count on other health care programs to foot the bill. Medicare, and almost all Health policies, will provide partial payment for long-term care – and only for 100 days or less. If you’re under the poverty line, such government programs as Medicaid will cover nursing home care.

LTC can provide an affordable alternative. Annual premiums usually range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the amount of coverage, and your gender, age, and physical condition. (People who have severe health problems might not qualify).

For a free review of your need for long-term care protection, please call your Tracy-Driscoll Insurance Agent at (860) 589-3434.

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