Five Long Term Care Myths


long term care, nursing home careMost of us would rather have a tooth pulled then talk with our parents about long term care.  Many of us are operating with misinformation about long term care and how your family might pay for it.

What is Long Term Care?

Long term care is helping people with daily tasks.  It's not medical care.  It is help with bathing, dressing, cooking and more.  All the things a person needs to live life from day to day.

Long Term Care Myth #1: The government will pay

The government does not pay for long term care except for individuals who meet low income, low asset guidelines under the Medicaid program.  Medicare parts A and B are health insurance covering doctor visits, lab tests and hospitalization.  Medicare covers limited home care or a short nursing home stay for rehabilitation after a hospital stay.

Long Term Care Myth #2: My insurance will pay

Standard health insurance and Medicare supplement plans do not pay for long term care.  Long term care insurance pays for long term care once you meet the policy requirements.

Long Term Care Myth #3: My kids will take care of me

This one is not a myth. Families do provide most long term care.  The better question is do you want your child to help you with toileting and bathing?  What will happen to your son's finances when he quits his job to care for you? What happens if you need around the clock care?

Long Term Care Myth #4: I can't qualify for government aid until I spend all my money

A reputable attorney who specializes in long term care planning for Medicaid or a Medicaid specialist can help your parent explore options for preserving his estate.  Medicaid regulations for long term care are stringent and can be confusing.  Working with an expert can prevent costly mistakes.

Long Term Care Myth #5: All Medicaid funded nursing homes are terrible

The quality of nursing home care has more to do with training, management and family participation than how the majority of residents' long term care is funded.  Reserve funds so your parent can move to a nursing home that accepts Medicaid as a privately paying patient.  This will allow you to get the best nursing home care Medicaid provides in your local area.

What would you add to my list of long term care myths?

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--Janice Wallace