Nursing home, skilled nursing facility, long-term care center, rest home. These are all terms used to describe organizations that provide elders a safe place to live along with 24-hour medical care as they age.

There are many benefits to living in a long-term care facility. They include socialization and friendship, engaging activities that help keep minds fresh, nutritious meals, therapy services, spiritual support and even medication distribution.

When it comes to paying for long-term care, there are a few options including private pay (you pay out of pocket), Medicare/Medicaid and other insurances like Group Health, Regence and Sterling.

In today’s world it’s a reality that the level of care a senior receives as they age can depend on funding sources and which insurance they have.

Plan ahead to avoid surprises down the road.

It’s important to know and understand what type of coverage you or your loved one has for long-term care well before there is a need. Insurance can dictate which residents a facility will accept and what services can be provided—having the right funding can impact the amount of care a senior receives.

Rehabilitation UnitIf you’ve reviewed the insurance policy for yourself or a loved one, and it seems that funding will be short, or that care options may be limited by the type of insurance in place, additional resources can be considered.

One option is long-term care insurance.  Long-term care insurance helps pay for services not generally covered by traditional health insurance–and many of the best long-term care facilities accept long-term care insurance as a preferred payment option.

In addition to paying for a higher level of care, LTC insurance can also help protect important family assets (like a home, savings and other investments).

So how do you know if LTC insurance is right for you or your family?  Here are a few things to consider.

Long-term care insurance may be a good option if:

  • There are family assets to protect.
  • You can afford to pay premiums now and in the future.
  • Your elder loved one is healthy and not currently disabled.

Long-term care insurance may not be a good fit if:

  • There are no family assets to protect.
  • Your loved one has other insurance with a long-term care rider.
  • Your family can afford to pay for long-term care out-of-pocket later.

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has put together a very helpful guide that explains more about long-term care insurance. It’s available as a free resource online.  Take a look today!