More than 70% of Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term health-care assistance, maintains the Department of Health and Human Services. Yet, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, D.C., only 13% of those who receive professional home health care have long-term insurance policies.
"There is a wide gap of people without long-term care insurance, and some of the alternatives carry little-known laws and legal liabilities that can pose a problem to the care recipients and their family' says Chris Orestis, executive vice president of GWG Life, Minneapolis, Minn., and author of the books Help on the Way and A Survival Guide to Aging.
"The growing long-term care funding crisis has brought lawsuits and mandated claw-back actions against families in attempts to recover monies spent on long-term care. There is a growing need for consumers to consider all their available financial options to fund long-term care, and that can include selling a life insurance policy.
"Often the weight for long-term care falls on the family, and they need to avoid a financial surprise that can come late in life for their loved ones."
Orestis shares three key things people should know about alternative ways of covering long-term care and possible problems those can present down the road:
States can sue for Medicaid recovery of longterm care expenses. Many families assume that once a senior is approved for Medicaid coverage of long-term care, the only thing left to worry about is maintaining financial and functional eligibility. "You've proven that a loved one cannot afford the level of care he or she requires, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything left to worry about in terms of covering and repaying costs," Orestis explains.