Have you failed to get insurance for long term care in a nursing home because you think you already have coverage?
If so, you're like a lot of other people, according to a Roper survey of Americans 45 years of age and over, recently released by the American Society on Aging (ASA).
That misconception can become costly when you consider long-term care in a nursing home currently averages $56,000 a year, according to the US Government, and is expected to quadruple by 2030. People could easily find their assets depleted, their choices limited and their independence gone if they need long-term care but have made no plans to pay for it.
And chances are good they will need long-term care. Statistics released by the Health Insurance Association of America say that after age 65, Americans have more than a 70 percent chance of needing some form of long-term care, whether it's an aide coming to their home, a stay in an assisted care facility or an extended stay in a nursing home. Younger people may also need long-term care if they've had a stroke, for example, or been in an accident.
"This survey confirms that Americans need to wake up to the realities of long-term care," Senior Vice President of the ASA Jim Emerman said. "All it takes is a phone call to a financial services professional to find out the truth behind the misconceptions so many have about long-term care."
Some of the common misconceptions uncovered in the Roper study include:
* 42 percent were not aware,
* Medicare only covers long-term care expenses for a short time, and only after someone is released from the hospital,
* 30 percent were not aware Medicaid coverage for long-term care is only available after someone's financial resources are exhausted, and
* Almost half (46 percent) are under the impression their health insurance will automatically cover long-term care.
It's dangerous to assume you're covered for long-term care. When the need for a nursing home stay or other long-term care arises, you may discover you're not covered and have waited too long to buy insurance. Long-term care insurance is an important part of a financial plan.