You know the likelihood of needing long term care services are high in retirement. You also know these services cost a lot of money, currently about $54,000 average per year for home health care.
But what if you don’t have enough money to put towards a traditional long term care policy? Or have pre-existing conditions that prevent you from purchasing long term care?
Short term care insurance fills in these gaps: it is affordable, easy to qualify for, and provides you with a least a year of coverage, at home or in a facility.
Long Term Care: Pre-Existing Conditions
What’s short about short term care insurance?
The defining characteristic of short term care insurance is that it provides just under one year of long term care benefits.
Some short term care insurance policies pay for 1 year of home health care only. Other policies pay for 1 year in assisted living and 1 year at home, meaning if your care can be planned accordingly, you can actually get 2 years of long term care paid for by some policies.
How do I qualify for a short term care insurance policy?
Many people end up using short term care insurance as a solution due to the fact that they have pre-existing conditions.
While everyone has some small things they are being treated for, there are many short term care insurance policies that will accept people with more severe pre-existing conditions. We’ve had people approved with diabetes, heart conditions, and even after recently recovering from cancer.
Short term care insurance is available to those up to age 89.
Short term care insurance is available everywhere except 9 states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Vermont, and Washington.If you live in one of these states, we have other options that function like and are priced similarly to short term care insurance.
Listen to learn more about qualifying for short term care insurance:
What does short term care do?
For many clients, short term care insurance is the affordable long term care solution they’ve been looking for. Besides being affordable, there are many other reasons clients choose to purchase a short term care policy.
Short term care insurance eliminates the need to spend your own money
After a client’s father had a bad fall that landed him with a hospital stay followed by rehab, he was told he could not bring his dad home unless he had a full time carre.
He assumed his father had long term care insurance, but he didn’t. The only way his father could go back home was if he and his wife stayed with him while they figured out how to get and pay for the care he needed.
When they wanted to go on a family vacation, we helped them find home health aides to fill in. His father was furious when he found out how much the aids cost and threw them out.
While the father had the money to pay for care, he just could not rationalize taking it out of his own bank account. We see many adult children going through this same situation. Their parents do not want to use their money to pay for the care they desperately need.
A short term care insurance policy eliminates the need to convince parents to pay for care. We never see anyone objecting to using an insurance company’s money. They happily accept the care that the policy pays for.
Short term care insurance approves those with pre-existing conditions
We had a client who was interested in long term care but then had a serious health event. While she would not have been approved with all companies, we were able to find her one that did accept the pre-existing conditions she had.
A year later, when she needed care after surgery, she was able to receive 60 days of coverage for a home health aide and 360 days of coverage for home based skilled care instead of having to go to a nursing home to recover.
Short term care insurance provides an opportunity for those who cannot qualify for other long term care insurances to still have protection against the costs of long term care.
Short term care insurance gives you time
We had a client who purchased a short term care insurance policy from us a few years back.
Recently, her health recently declined and needed home health care. She used the full 52 weeks her policy provided for, which paid out $1,200/week, or $62,400 over the course of the year.
Her daughter used this year to get in contact with us and figure out how she is going to pay for care after this year is up. We were able to coordinate with her daughter, sell her house, and use this money, plus her Social Security check and savings, to come up with enough to pay for her to move into an assisted living facility.
This year gave her family the time to figure out the financials and make sure she will be well taken care of for the years to come.
Short term care insurance fills the gap
We met another client whose husband passed away after spending 7 months in a nursing home. While they had long term care insurance, their policy had a 365 day elimination, or waiting, period, which meant the policy paid out nothing for his care.
After his passing, she wanted to make sure she had coverage for the first year of care if she was to need it. At age 77, she purchased a short term care insurance policy which pays $6,000 towards care for 12 months.
One year ago, she was admitted to a memory care facility. Unlike her husband, she had care paid for by insurance from day 1. She used the full $72,000 of benefit from her short term care policy and now her long term care policy has kicked in and will pay for several more years.
Short term care insurance filled this coverage gap that was created by a traditional long term care insurance policy.
From clients with only enough money to cover a small policy to those who have enough money but don’t want to purchase a large traditional policy, short term care insurance can be the perfect solution. This is especially true if you have pre-existing conditions that prevent you from qualifying from other policies.
Cardinal can help you explore your options for short term care. Give us a call today or fill out the contact form below!