Just as a car or home needs more tune-ups and part replacements as it gets older, the human body often requires more TLC as it ages. This — and the rising cost of health care across the country — is why there has never been a better time to consider future care planning in your overall insurance portfolio.
As you’re planning for future care, there are several factors to consider:
Do you have a family history of medical conditions that required your loved ones to receive care?
Chronic diseases are remarkably common in America, and those with pre-existing health conditions are much more likely to need ongoing care. Some chronic diseases are also more common in those with a family history of the disease. For perspective, if a first-degree relative has been diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, or heart disease, your risk level of inheriting the disease jumps substantially. This is especially true if they were diagnosed before age 55 for males or 65 for females.
Are you prepared to protect your savings in the event of an unexpected illness or injury?
On average across the United States, in-home health care currently costs around $4,000 per month, and nursing home care generally runs around $8,000 per month. And although you may have enough to cover those out-of-pocket costs now, they are likely to increase in the future. You can estimate the cost of care in your community now and in the future using this cost of care estimator tool.
Do you want to maintain your independence as you age?
Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals are not your only options if you need care as you age or while recovering from an illness or injury. In fact, care preferences have shifted to include a preference toward aging in place rather than receiving care in a facility. Many home health care services exist to help you recover and receive the care you need from the comfort of your own home.
Do you reside close to loved ones who can help provide care when you need it?
Being a caretaker can be a full-time job for friends or family members. Planning ahead for the rising cost of health care and for your estate can help ease the burden on and stress among loved ones. This care planning checklist offers an excellent guide for basic info your next of kin and/or potential caretaker might need.
Do you worry about the rising cost of health care?
According to a recent research study conducted by American Enterprise Group,* fewer than half of respondents believe they are prepared to cover most of the ongoing health care and long-term care costs that could arise as they age.
After answering the questions above, you should have a better idea of whether or not Short-Term Care insurance coverage is an option for you to consider. This type of supplemental insurance can help pay for care received outside of a doctor’s office or hospital. While it’s not a replacement for Medicare or a general health insurance policy, it is certainly worth considering when you’re planning for your future care.
* The 2021 Short-Term Care Insurance Foundational Research Study was an online survey of 500 U.S. consumers age 50-79. All participants confirmed having primary or shared responsibility for their households’ health care coverage decisions. American Enterprise Group was not identified as the survey sponsor. The survey was conducted during the month of February 2021. The study was conducted in partnership with Directions Research, an independent insights firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.