If you say the words "long-term care" to a client, many of them probably picture nursing homes...and shy away from the subject. What you probably didn't know is that 50% of all long-term care claims are for home health care. If you could receive the care you need, paid for by insurance, in your own home, what's so scary about that? Let's take a look at the different types of long-term care that you can pitch to your client.
If given the option, many of your clients want to stay in their homes instead of moving to an assisted living or nursing home facility. According to the Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey, the costs for in-home care are growing more slowly than facility-based care. That's good news for the 7.6 million people currently getting the care they need at home (according to the LTCi Sourcebook). Compare that to only 1.8 million people who receive care in nursing homes. If staying at home is your goal, you have two main choices for care type:
- Homemaker Services. If you need help keeping house, but you can still perform the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) described here, homemaker services can help. Homemakers can't provide personal care, such as helping you bathe, dress, or take your medications. They can do the around-the-house chores that need doing on a regular basis, such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, or picking up your prescription medication from a pharmacy or doctor's office.
- Home Health Aide. If you do need help with your ADLs, you can get that help from an in-home health aide. These are licensed professionals who provide the care your family can't. If you don't need help performing the actual activities, a home health aide can watch and wait to make sure everything goes smoothly. If you need monitoring or help taking medication, a skilled nurse would fall under this category of care. A skilled nurse can monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, help you take your medication, and act as a liaison with your doctor.
Adult Day Care & Assisted Living
50% of all long-term care insurance claims are for in-home health care.
Adult day care (ADC) is ideal for people who have support in the evenings, usually from a family member they live with or who visits in the evenings to handle things like meal prep and medication dispensation. If that family member goes to work during the day, day care can help provide the help you need during regular working hours. It provides a welcome relief for your caregiver, while still providing professional assistance and care. Many ADC centers offer meals, transportation, therapy, and the chance to socialize with organized group outings or activities.
Assisted living offers many of the same benefits, but it's based in a permanent facility. The caregivers are there to help you round the clock, which is ideal for folks who don't have family to help out or need more help than a part-time in-home health aide could supply. The facility provides meals, dispenses medications, offers basic medical care, and usually also offers a lot of the social component of adult day care. The catch? It costs a lot more than any other option we've discussed so far, and it's also not able to provide extensive medical care.
Only 17% of baby boomers have made a plan for long-term care.
Nursing home care is for those who need a high level of medical care, beyond what could be provided by the staff of an assisted living facility. In addition to help with ADLs and dispensing medication, nursing home staff are also equipped to handle therapy, rehabilitation, and medical emergencies. As you can see in the graphic below, there's a big difference in cost between a private room and a shared, or semi-private, room. Part of developing your plan for long-term care involves weighing your options against the possible cost. Although a nursing home isn't usually the first choice of anyone needing care, it can be the best option for those who need the trained medical expertise and treatment facilities and equipment that's simply not available through any other care option.
Preparing for the Future
The first step in preparing for the future is talking about it. We can help you get that conversation started with your clients. We'll provide everything you need to learn about the carriers who offer LTC, which policies work for different clients' life situations, and how to request a quote. Ready to get started?
Click here to watch our long-term care webinar, then get all the sales tools you need, including:
For more help selling long-term care, call us at 800-823-4852. We can help with sales concepts, planning, illustrations, carrier selection, and more.