In a perfect world you wouldn’t have to think about long-term care at all, let alone, while living through a pandemic. Yet, here we are. Nearly every aspect of our lives has been reshaped due to the need to make safety priority one due to COVID-19; long-term care planning is no stranger to this. Even before the pandemic, long-term care planning has been one subject matter that no one has wanted to discuss. It’s just not fun talking about losing cognitive capacity or living in a nursing home.
Talks about long-term care plans, however, are unavoidable these days, and COVID-19 has only made these discussions more necessary. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), elderly persons and/or those with underlying conditions are more likely to develop severe COVID-19-related symptoms. This population is also more likely than others to require long-term care services, and — according to WHO — nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths are linked to long-term care facilities. To further the importance of long-term care discussions, nursing home residents with COVID-19 could be a leading case load of patients with the virus, compared to those living outside of long-term facilities. These facilities, according to the New York Times, have housed over 400,000 people at 17,000 centers who, for various reasons, have all fallen victim to COVID-19.
This should serve as a wake-up call to those with loved ones who are elderly or cannot take care of themselves during this time. The following ways a pandemic affects long term care planning should serve as a guide to assist in your long-term care planning strategies for those near and dear to you:
The need for supplemental coverage is a must.
Medicare is not designed to provide all the financial support needed to care for loved ones in a long-term care setting. The average costs of a private nursing home is over $100,000 per year. Consider discussing long-term options with an estate planner. Our office is available to remotely connect with you during this time. Supplemental coverage choices through an estate plan opens the door to countless long-term care options, including family-style private homes, where your loved ones are the main focus.
Shorter facility stays are no longer happening.
Since COVID-19 became a major pandemic earlier this year, short long-term care stays are least likely to be an option. This is due to a fear of admitting patients who might test positive for the virus. In addition, if a patient does test positive for COVID-19, an insurance policy or other estate planning options could provide a cushion to support you when short-term stays are not possible. Our office is able to connect you with professionals who can assist with securing or accessing these types of supports.
The time to consider long-term care insurance is now.
Because long-term care insurance policies usually have limits in terms of how much is covered — and for how long the coverage lasts — the time is now to consider such policies. Policy costs are lower for younger policyholders, and costs for long-term care are only increasing. In most cases, however, it costs nothing to pursue the information, but it could cost you everything if you don’t seek it out. With COVID-19 becoming a new health factor if our world, the need for rapid response teams along with privatized facilities makes obtaining an insurance policy sooner than later of greater importance. Again, at TGQ Law, we are available to point you to professionals who can provide trustworthy information about long-term care policies.
Please don’t leave this to chance. Our office is available to talk these matters through with you and to provide you with information that can help you. Contact us to discuss your long-term care planning options. Our virtual consultations are available to anyone in the U.S. Call us today.