According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 70% of men and women who reach the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care in their lives, and it isn’t cheap.
On average, an individual will spend $140,000 if paying for long-term care out of pocket. And yet, only 7.2 million Americans have opted to purchase long-term care insurance. This gap between the reality of the costs of long-term care and how those expenses will be paid for is an unsolved problem for most older folks.
Concierge care services
Long-term care insurance covers many of the costs of a nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care – expenses that aren’t generally covered by Medicare. Typically, these policies cover services that help people with routine daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, or getting in and out of bed. A wide range of care options are available, so a policyholder can select which services best suit their individual needs. To cater to your unique circumstances, we recommend speaking with your insurance provider or financial advisor about concierge services.
However, when considering the benefits of long-term care insurance, there is more to the equation than just the care received. Almost all insurance companies are now providing some form of concierge services as part of their long-term care insurance policies. Basically, these services provide support for families and informal caregivers; help for those involved with planning and organizing professional services; and assistance with the claims process.
Of course, having long-term care insurance is invaluable to someone who needs it, but it’s not just the insurance dollars that provide peace of mind to policyholders. Equally valuable is the assistance, resources, and concierge services that the carrier extends to the client.
So often, people simply don’t know who to call when they are in need of help, so the ability to call a concierge care coordinator who will guide them to the appropriate resources in their community is vital.
Concierge care coordinators
Finding quality long-term care and support services can be overwhelming for the average person. They are often simply unprepared to navigate an unfamiliar eldercare system, especially when they don’t live in the same city as a loved one in need of care.
Concierge care coordinators are trained and licensed professionals who assist clients with locating services and arranging for care. Some of the services and resources they provide to their clients include:
- A connection to local resources: They provide access to resources from skilled nursing to home health care and community options, all in your local area.
- A needs assessment: Clients can take an online assessment in order to determine a plan that evaluates their situation and needs.
- An online library: Generally, clients will have access to an online library that provides a wealth of information, including articles, videos, and checklists on a multitude of issues regarding health, aging, and eldercare.
- A social network: Some insurance companies provide access to a social network that centers around the client and/or those who are providing care. It’s a smart way to communicate, and it’s a way to keep loved ones and caregivers connected and informed.
- Customized provider recommendations: If requested, clients can receive a customized list of three provider options in their area.
In addition, using the services of a concierge care coordinator can often yield additional benefits that are designed to help a policyholder remain comfortably in their home. Some of these benefits include:
- Caregiver training
- Home modification
- Medical alert system
- Durable medical equipment
It’s imperative for all parties involved in a client’s care to be fully informed and prepared so that, in the event of a health crisis, care can be expedited as quickly and smoothly as possible.
If you’re an advisor reading this article, take stock of what services are part of your client’s long-term-care coverage and what resources are available to them, because doing that when it’s needed is never the right time. In such circumstances, your client and their family members could be experiencing enormous stress, and they may need to rely on you for clear-headed guidance.
If you’re a family member who plans on being a caregiver to a loved one, make sure you know what resources are available and how to contact them. The last thing you want to do during a health crisis is to have any confusion involving who to call for help.
If you’re an individual reading this article, talk to your advisor and make sure you know exactly what services are available to you as part of your policy. Continue to ask questions until you completely understand. Also, make sure your coverage is appropriate – not too much, not too little – and that it fits into your overall financial plan.