Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - June 2018 - 25-06
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Senior Times - June 2018 Page 11
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
You may decide that Long Term Care Insurance (or some hybrid of it) is your best route for care. Be sure to always read the terms of the policy before signing especially as it relates to what is required for the policy and payment for care to be enacted as well as the length of care provided. Check out the article starting on page 24 that provides statistics related to issues surrounding long term care.
Furthermore, according to Investment News, insurers are getting pickier about who qualifies
for a long-term care policy. In 2017, 22 percent of 50- to 59-year-old applicants for traditional policies and 30 percent of 60- to 69-year-olds were turned down.
There are other options to consider beyond the various long term care policies. One or more of these may work better for you or your loved one. 1. Choose appropriate type of long-term care.
Skilled care is not always the only, or even the best, option. If assistance is only needed for lim- ited activities of daily living then hiring a home health agency, or even working with an adult day services program could be the right choice. An assisted living facility, home for the aged,
or adult foster care home can be less expensive than a nursing home if the person doesn’t have medical needs. Choosing the right option can help save money in the long run.
2. Social Security or pension can make a dent.
Most people use their Social Security check
to first pay this bill. It is guaranteed income,
and this, paired with other guaranteed monthly income such as a pension, can reduce the long- term care bill. Additional sources of support may come from groups supporting retirees such as the Kellogg 25 year trust.
3. Use Your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) dollars. The income received may qual- ify for a medical expense deduction. “Taking money from an IRA will raise a person’s taxable income, but the tax deduction from using this
money only for long-term care costs basically turns one’s IRA into a tax-free health savings account.”
4. Veterans may qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance program. This little-known Veterans Administration offering provides monthly support for anyone who has served as little as 90 days in the military during a time of war. The surviving spouse can also qualify for support. There are requirements to be met in addition to service including need, income, and assets.
5. Cash in long-forgotten whole life insurance policies and savings bonds. Those savings bonds might be just the ticket to help pay for care. Surprisingly, unneeded cash values in a whole life policy can be sold for as much as 50-75 percent of the death benefit.
6. Activate a chronic illness rider. Check to see if you or your parents own a term life or perma- nent life insurance policy with a chronic illness rider. Generally, you can qualify if you are unable to do two of six activities of daily living without assistance or if you need assistance for cognitive impairment.
7. Sell a home or get a reverse mortgage. While there is some debate regarding the perceived value of a reverse mortgage, it can be helpful if there is a person still living in the home and you need assistance with the cost of care. If there are no surviving relatives hoping to live in the
home, and it is clear that the person will not be returning to the home, then selling their home can provide dollars for care.
8. Medicaid could be your solution. Medicaid assistance is limited to people with low incomes and assets, which means the adult needing long term care may not qualify if they have substan- tial assets or they have transferred assets into someone else’s name during the past few years. Check with your elder law attorney to know what you can do when with assets to prepare to qualify for Medicaid. When qualified, there are still options beyond skilled nursing including the MI Choice Waiver program as well as the PACE program.
9. Reach out to your faith community: Some religious affiliations and congregations have foundations for members needing help paying for long-term care. Reach out to them to discuss the need.
10. There is always family: Some family members may choose to come together to pay for the long term care needs of their parents or other loved ones. Many adult children open their homes, provide direct care to their parent themselves, change their work schedules, and if they can some will quit working altogether. It is a signif- icant financial consideration to take on this obli- gation in any of the forms identified here.
One thing that adults needing care should recognize is that there may be a point in time when the caregiver reaches exhaustion. Know that there is fear involved on both sides. The reality, however, is that an exhausted caregiver is at risk for a host of health issues if they do not get the relief they need. Moving to a facili- ty with either part or full time care may be the best next step for everyone involved.
This information is brought to you courtesy of

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