Understanding Your Care Planning Options

Understanding Your Care Planning Options

Evaluate your needs to make wise decisions about future care planning

You may have started thinking more about your possible need for future care. Maybe you’ve helped care for aging parents. Perhaps you’re single and you’ve realized you need a plan in case of an unexpected illness or injury. Or maybe you saw the emotional and financial strain a friend went through as a family member’s health declined and had to move from a nursing home to hospice care.
 
Whatever triggered your thoughts, now is the time to evaluate plans for your own care needs. But how can you determine the best path forward?
 
When it comes to your healthcare, you want to make wise, informed choices, so you’ll want to take a few minutes to learn how different types of coverage compare.

Medicare

Outside of some very specific circumstances, you typically become eligible for Medicare coverage when you turn 65 years old. But Medicare doesn’t cover all healthcare expenses. For example, if you suffer a stroke and are hospitalized, Medicare will cover the costs. But when you’re ready to be discharged, your coverage situation can change quickly.

Medicare will pay for skilled care in a Medicare-certified facility. If your only coverage is Medicare but you need non-skilled (custodial) care or want to receive care at home, you’ll be responsible for paying for some of the costs out of pocket.
 
In order to qualify under Medicare guidelines for coverage for a short stay in a skilled nursing facility, you must meet some very specific criteria. If you do meet those criteria, Medicare will pay for some of the costs you incur. But depending on how long you need Medicare nursing home coverage, you may have to pay some, or even most, of the costs yourself.

Long-Term Care insurance

Long-Term Care insurance provides individuals with care options that go beyond what is possible through Medicare. Unlike Medicare, with Long-Term Care insurance, you receive benefits that help you pay for care services. Remember to check your policy because plans vary greatly as to what facilities they cover.
 
If you qualify and are looking to keep your premiums down, you can select a longer elimination period, but it measures time rather than cost. If you select a 90-day elimination period, it will keep your initial costs down, but it also means you’ll have to pay the first three months of care costs out of pocket. However, once you have completed the elimination period and meet your plan criteria, most plans will then pay the daily benefit for the duration of the policy you chose.

Short-Term Care insurance

Most Short-Term Care insurance plans offer elimination periods of 0 days, which means your benefit coverage kicks in right away when you need care services and can’t perform two or more activities of daily living (ADLs). And because Short-Term Care plans provide coverage for less than one year, the annual amount you pay for a plan is less than a long-term plan.
 
Short-Term Care plans are generally easier to qualify for because the health questionnaire is less involved. What’s more, if you are on Medicare, Short-Term Care insurance plans can pay benefits concurrently with Medicare coverage.
 
It’s good to remember that Short-Term Care plans are only for the short term. Although many claims of this type for care are for less than a year, it’s true that just over half of people needing care have claims that last longer than a year. The maximum benefit for a Short-Term Care insurance plan will help you maintain financial flexibility, but you will still want to plan for the possibility that you may need care beyond one year.

A balanced approach to care

Each of the above options has its appropriate place, but one is not a total replacement for the other. AARP® Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico® strikes a balance between the assistive care scenarios most people find themselves in. This policy pays benefits toward days of care received at home and in a nursing home, assisted living, adult daycare, and hospice. It also allows you to move from one to the other and continue to receive your benefits, as long as you haven’t exhausted the benefits of your plan.
 
AARP Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico offers elimination periods between 0 and 30 days and benefit durations between 120 and 360 days. You can even select the benefit amount you wish to receive, between $50 and $300 per day. By selecting the benefit options you are most comfortable with, you can lower your monthly premium while still maintaining a level of coverage that gives you peace of mind.
 
AARP Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico plan also offers a One-time Restoration of Lifetime benefit. This feature allows you to restore your benefits after they’ve been used, as long as you haven’t received or needed care or benefits for 180 consecutive days.
 
Ready to move forward? Click here to customize a quote for AARP Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico to fit your needs.
 
Medico Insurance Company Disclosures

STCI-007
11-26-19