According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 60% of individuals over the age of 65 require at least some type of long-term care service during their lifetime. Long-term care insurance has been growing in popularity in the US as more and more people experience the costs of providing care to family members who need it. Costs for care have been rising at dramatic rates and will likely continue to rise for the foreseeable future. The national average rate for home health aides is $147 per day. Adult daycare services average $74 per day. The national average for a private room in a nursing home is $290 per day, and the monthly cost for an assisted community living arrangement is $4,051 per month.
Long-term care insurance covers care that’s not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Individuals who require long-term care are generally not sick in the traditional sense, but instead, are unable to perform the Basic Activities of Daily Living. These include tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, and transferring (eg from a wheelchair to bed). In certain cases, the individual’s impairment may not be physical but may be mental instead. Cognitive disabilities include Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program
The Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) is a voluntary program that is available to Federal employees and their family members. Generally, if an employee or family member is eligible for Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB), they will also be eligible for FLTCIP (whether or not they are enrolled in FEHB). Retirees receiving an annuity, workers who are separated from service but eligible for a deferred annuity, and surviving spouses are also eligible. Adult children who are
at least 18 years old may also enroll (foster children are not eligible). Even parents, parent in-laws, and stepparents of living employees may purchase the coverage.
The coverage is guaranteed renewable, which means that as long as the premium payments are made the insurance cannot be canceled. There is no upper age limit for purchasing coverage, although the lower age limit of 18 is enforced. Premiums are based on the enrollee’s age at the time of application and are paid completely by the Federal worker. The earlier you enroll, the lower your premium will be for the duration of your coverage. There is no sharing or subsidization of costs by the Federal government for this coverage. Premium payments are waived while the insured is under care and receiving benefits from the policy.
Optimizing Your Long-Term Care Insurance
We welcome you to take advantage of our webinars and online resources so that you can make the most informed decisions regarding your long-term care insurance coverage. Our team is always happy to help you answer questions regarding the FLTCIP and other long-term care benefits. Contact us for more information!