Medicaid Alabama Launches Latest Long Term Care Plans

Three new long-term care options for elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients were announced Friday in Mobile at a news conference by Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Dr. Bob Mullins Jr.
Two of the options are statewide initiatives. The third, known as PACE, short for Program of All-Inclusive Care, will be limited, for now, to recipients in Mobile and Baldwin counties ages 55 and older who meet certain criteria.
All three options are aimed at offering more long-term care choices for those who may not have been able to afford high long term care insurance costs in the past.
Mullins spoke prior to the grand opening of Mercy LIFE on Springhill Avenue, an inclusive-care facility where those who qualify for Medicaid and Medicare, and meet other criteria, have begun participating in PACE.
Mercy LIFE is the first in the state to become designated for PACE.
Twenty-three patients have been accepted into the Mercy’s PACE program thus far, and there are plans to enroll as many as 200 in the next few years.
The PACE participants at Mercy typically live at home, but visit Mercy several times a week to see a doctor, eat daytime meals, stop by the chapel, have laundry done or play board games. Mercy also offers rehabilitative services.
“It’s one of the few programs that has been shown to increase quality of life without increasing costs,” said Dr. J. Eugene Lammers, new medical director at Mercy LIFE, which stands for Living Independently for Elders. “It works.”
The reason it works, said Lammers and Mullins, is because people tend to do better when they live at home or with family.
“The ultimate goal,” Lammers said, “is to keep them in the community where they want to be.”
The two other programs announced by Mullins Friday include would:
• Help some patients with physical disabilities who are living in nursing homes to transition back home and receive care there.
• Assist patients who depend on a ventilator to breathe get treatment closer to home.
PACE provides comprehensive services and support to Medicaid and Medicare enrollees by enlisting a team of health professionals who create care plans.
PACE funding is capped, but providers have flexibility to deliver services by need.
The state pays about $55,000 a year for a Medicaid patient to live in a nursing home. For PACE, the state will pay about $41,000, a significant savings, Mullins said.

Reap More Benefits from Early Purchase of LTC Insurance

Long term care (LTC) is getting expensive every year that is why the experts on the field would constantly remind everybody to buy your LTC insurance policy early as it is the only product that will protect your finances, family, and your dignity. It wouldn’t be that costly only if CLASS Act was not cancelled but don’t fret because there are still other ways how to cut the cost.

Long term care insurance (LTCI) is not like any regular commodity which people can buy off the store’s shelf and use right away. This type of insurance product requires buyers to be young and healthy but it will benefit them later once they’re frail, injured or disabled.

LTCI policies offer what you can never get from your regular health insurance, which, only covers certain types of medical services such as vision checkup, dental treatment, doctor’s fees, physical examination, and other related ones. It will neither foot your nursing home bills nor pay the home health care agency which is responsible for providing you with a home health aide or homemaker services.

Ignoring the importance of having an LTCI policy will subject you to very high out-of-pocket costs should you wind up acquiring LTC in the future. It’s important to note that only individuals who are earning $150,000 or more annually can self-insure because the average annual cost of a nursing home ranges from $77,745 to $85,000.

You can say you won’t enter a nursing home so you don’t have to spend that much, but you can never be too certain about the outcome of your health, can you?

If you are not too confident that you can afford the continuously soaring cost of care, you can look into a tax qualified LTCI policy and spare yourself and your family from possible impoverishment.

Buy Your LTC Insurance Policy Early

Contrary to many misconceptions, you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for the premium of your LTCI coverage if you purchase your policy before the retirement age which is 65. As a matter of fact, if you buy your policy at the age of 50 or younger you can enjoy the privilege of paying less than a thousand dollars every year for your coverage.

This is especially true for those whose health is in tiptop condition. If you don’t manifest symptoms of any illness during your application for an LTCI policy, you can get 10% to 15% good health discount on your premium.

Meanwhile, those who buy their policies after retirement, or a few years before, have smaller chances of clinching premium discounts because when one gets to the age of 65 his health usually begins to deteriorate.

Aside from premium discounts, securing a policy at a younger age will give you reason to look forward to big tax deductions. Premiums that are paid for tax qualified LTCI policies are treated as medical expenses according to the Internal IRS Code Section 213(d), and since medical expenses can be deducted from one’s income tax return you can expect big deductibles every year.

Based on a national survey, less than 10 million people in the country have LTCI policies while the remaining 3.8 million have yet to figure out a plan. This information poses a threat to the government as it is only capable of providing limited LTC coverage via Medicaid.

Shop for long term care quote early and buy your LTC insurance policy early so you don’t rely on mediocre health care services in the future. Furthermore, planning your LTC efficiently will spare your family from possible financial losses which have befallen many families.

Long Term Care Insurance Need Not Be Expensive

No matter how important it is, long term care insurance is one product which most people would avoid because of its expensive price tag. What they do not see are the many different ways on how to save on long term care insurance because they are too busy cropping long term care (LTC) planning from their responsibilities.

By deliberately ignoring the need to plan for LTC, they risk losing everything which they’ve worked so hard to obtain. LTC costs will continue to rise in the years to come and, in fact, by 2030 people will have to pay for the unthinkable as the figures are expected to quadruple.

Imagine a home health aide charging $76 per hour or $608 daily to assist you during mealtimes, in bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, and in transferring from the room to any point of the house or vice versa. That’s not all as rates of community-based LTC facilities and nursing homes will shoot up, as well.

What is your take on paying $386,900 annually for a nursing home’s private room? Right now the rate is still $96,725 but when LTC costs start to increase fourfold, this five-digit number will just be a faint memory and we all have to deal with six-digit rates.

Twenty years down the road, one’s retirement money worth $500,000 will not take him very far in terms of LTC. He may be able to afford the first year in a nursing home but after that, he’ll inevitably turn to Medicaid because he will run short of funds.

Unfortunately, Medicaid does not take in anyone who is not so poor and cannot afford to buy his own food other basic necessities. If you want a room in this health insurance program you have to spend down your assets until it meets Medicaid’s asset limit requirement.

Learning How to Save on Long Term Care Insurance

Medicaid us not worth considering at the moment unless you are going to purchase a Partnership qualified LTCI policy as this can protect your assets from being spent down should you require Medicaid in the future.

Start shopping for long term care quote in various LTCI carriers and preferably with a licensed agent in tow as he would be able to help you get the ideal coverage.

Give more attention to the inflation protection rider of your policy than the maximum benefit amount because if you instantly go for a high maximum daily benefit amount you’ll need to pay a high premium. While a compound inflation protection will increase your policy’s benefit amount over time. If you buy your policy at the age of 40, by the time you reach the age of 54 or 60 the total amount of your benefits will be twice its initial amount.

Opt for a longer elimination period such as 180 days especially if you are not at risk of nursing home care. By doing so, you will manage to stretch your benefits and benefit period.

Finally, if you really want to know how to save on long term care insurance just monitor LTC costs in your area because knowing how much you’ll need for care will make planning easier.

Even if CLASS act has been cancelled, there are still alternative ways on how you can cut the cost of your premiums. Everything I’ve said beforehand will surely get you the kind of long term care plans you want without having to worry about your budget. Consider these things and you’re off to a comfortable and debt-free future.

How Much Does Long Term Care Insurance Costs?

Long term care insurance is very intimidating which often makes people like myself assume that it will cost a fortune just to afford this type of insurance. How much does it really cost?

The price actually depends on your needs. You are free to structure your premiums and if you want to find cheap long term care quote then you need to consider some factors first like your age, state of your health, location, riders, elimination period and as well as the amount of your benefit and the duration.

Let’s go over the age first. Obviously, the younger you apply for this policy the lower your premiums will be. You’re not much of a problem for insurance companies because you’re still young, in perfect health and your chances of receiving long term care services is very slim unless of course you have a pre-existing condition.

Having a serious medical condition at the time you’re applying for insurance can affect your premiums. As stating the obvious, if you have a major health condition then you’ll definitely have higher premiums compared to a person who is in perfect shape.

Another factor that most people aren’t really aware is that your location can also affect your rates. The cost of long term care in Florida is not the same as when you’re living in New York. As for the latter state, it offers higher premiums compared to when you’re living in Florida. It’s not only the cost that is affected but as well as the benefits you’re going to receive later on.

It’s kind of annoying to pay for something for a very long time because you want to just get over it and live a debt-free live. But do you know that the longer you pay the insurance benefits before they start to provide you with benefits can actually save you a lot? Now you know and I hope you’ll consider that.

If you opt for high benefits and pay this in a long duration of time, then you have to expect for a much higher premium. It’s pretty obvious because you’ve signed up for a huge benefit amount and in return you’ll pay the company in a much longer duration of payments.

There are also other things you can add on to your policy like riders. When you shop for quotes you’ll notice that there are other features and benefits included. But before you say yes to all of that you need to understand that you don’t need everything that these companies are offering. You can add an inflation protection rider if you want but make sure you’ll chose the one that can greatly benefit you in the future and can cover all your long term care needs.

These things don’t matter for some but they are very important. These things can give you an idea how much you’ll spend for your long term care. So even if CLASS Act did not push through you still have an alternative, shopping for quotes and applying for long term care insurance early.