Best of the Web: Should You Pay for Long-Term Care Insurance?
Most people currently turning age 65 will need some kind of long-term care at some point in their lives for three years on average. Much of that care will be in-home and individuals and their families will personally bear much of the cost. But one recent study (Kemper, Komisar & Alecxih, Inquiry 42:335) suggests that only about five percent of seniors will need to spend $100,000 or more of their own money on long-term care. For many seniors, low-cost options such as hiring someone to help with laundry and errand-running can go a long way towards making life easier. Others will be able to rely on family members or a caring religious community. Technology, such as in-home emergency response systems and medication reminders, can be a great boon. How likely are you to need high-cost care? Does it really make sense to shell out thousands of dollars for insurance? Your decision to pay for long-term care insurance needs to be based on a careful and objective assessment of your financial and physical risks.
Medicare has an excellent long-term-care planning tool that will help you review your personal and family medical history to help determine likely costs and possible resources.
This article from AARP provides a useful introduction to long-term care insurance,as well as some good links to further information.
The Massachusetts Elder Affairs Office has an extensive listing of state and private programs for seniors.
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