One of the many benefits of Long-Term Care insurance [LTCi] is the flexibility it provides when one needs long-term care services. Not surprisingly, most people prefer to receive care in their own home if at all possible. In fact, 77% of adults age 40+ indicate as much1.
However, when the need for more intense or hands-on care arises, policyholders are faced with the possibility of entering a long-term care facility. Options are somewhat limited for the type of facility one can enter, and for many, the prospect of entering an assisted living facility is much more appealing than that of a nursing home. According to a Pew Research poll, when asked what they would do if they could no longer live on their own, the number of adults 65 and older who said they would move into an assisted living facility was four times greater than those who said they would move into a nursing home2.
Assisted living allows people to maintain privacy, independence and regular social interaction while still having around the clock access to the care they may need. It is a good alternative for individuals who have chronic, yet manageable conditions, who require help with activities of daily living.
Assisted living is not only a more attractive option than a nursing home because of the degree of freedom it provides, but also because it is substantially cheaper than nursing home care. The national median cost for a private, one bedroom assisted living facility unit is $45,000 per year, less than half of the $97,455 annual cost for a private room in a nursing home3.
It appears that LTCi policyholders are realizing the comparative benefits of assisted living and are utilizing their policies to capitalize on these benefits. Approximately one in five LTCi claims originated from an assisted living facility in 2017, compared to 14 percent in 20144. Claimants are taking advantage of the flexibility that LTCi affords them and are utilizing it to go with this preferable option.
When staying home is no longer an option, assisted living provides people with an alternative to nursing home care which allows for greater independence, privacy, and social activity. Though cheaper than nursing home care, the cost of assisted living can still be steep for some individuals. LTCi opens the possibilities for individuals who may otherwise have to limit themselves to what their assets or what government assistance could provide them. With assisted living becoming more popular, and long-term care services becoming increasingly expensive, the benefits of LTCi once again speak for themselves.
1. “Long-Term Care in America: Expectations and Preferences for Care and Caregiving”, AP-NORC Center, 2016
2. “Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone”, Pew Research Center, 2016
3. “2017 Cost of Care Survey”, CareScout, 2017
4. “LTCi Claims from Assisted Living Facilities Rise in 2017”, Insurance News Net, 2018