Virginia Long-Term Care Insurance is a fairly recent phenomenon, due in part to the rapidly aging yet longer-living population, retirement planning of the “baby boomers”, and quickly escalating long-term health and medical costs that aren’t typically covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. This type of insurance is especially helpful for those who develop disabilities or chronic (long-lasting) illnesses later in life. Long-term care services range from home- and community-based services to services provided in an assisted living, retirement or nursing facility. All services are typically designed and intended to improve or maintain an individual’s health in the least restrictive setting that ensures their physical and mental health, safety, and welfare. As well, services facilitated by long-term care insurance providers include help with daily living activities among the wide variety of home, facility and community settings.Northern Virginia in particular is an area experiencing a very rapid growth in the need for this sort of insurance, especially in the fast-growing and highly-transient Metropolitan Washington DC populations in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun. Insurance for long-term care is one of the fastest-growing types of health-related coverage in terms of policy-holders, due to the very high regional costs of living and medical care, the lack of reasonable public transportation options, and the large numbers of Federal and Military retirees remaining after service in the area.
Additionally, the rapid growth of planned developments (such as the Dulles South communities of South Riding or Brambleton, in Loudoun County) and infill property over the past ten years, without consistent regional or community planning for retirement facilities, is beginning to squeeze the capacity of existing facilities. Regional volunteer and community services are being leveraged at consistently high rates, such as the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Fairfax, VA. This program was established in 1985 to advocate for persons receiving long-term care services to ensure the highest quality of life and care. It serves the city of Alexandria and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William through their Area Agencies on Aging.There is a great deal of choice and flexibility in long-term care insurance policies. Most persons can select a range of care options and benefits that allow them to get the services they need in the most suitable settings. The cost of long-term care insurance policies are based on the type and amount of services covered, the age when the policy is purchased, and any optional benefits such as Inflation Protection. Some applicants who may already be in poor health or receiving long-term care services may not qualify for long-term care insurance.In Virginia, there are several very unique and worthwhile supplemental programs to assist with Long-Term Care Insurance needs and situations. For example, The Virginia Long-Term Care (LTC) Partnership (http://valtcpartnership.org/va-ltc-insurance/) is designed to reward Virginians who plan ahead for future long-term care needs. With the Partnership’s Dollar-For-Dollar Asset Protection, Virginians can protect personal assets if there is a need to apply for Medicaid. This innovative alliance between private insurance companies and the state government protects Virginians from depleting all of their savings and assets to pay for long-term care, while still enabling qualification for Medicaid Coverage. Medicaid usually only pays for long-term care only after existing savings or assets are exhausted.Long-term care insurance policies have a benefit period or lifetime benefit maximum, which is the total amount of time or total amount of dollars up to which benefits will be paid. Common benefit periods for long-term care policies are two to five years, and lifetime or unlimited coverage. Other options between five years and lifetime/unlimited coverage are also available; most policies translate these time periods into dollar amounts with particular limits, and do not actually limit the number of days for which they will pay for care.Long-term care insurance typically covers the cost of:Assisted living services that are provided in a special residential setting other than your own home. These services may include meals, health monitoring, and help with daily activities for both body and mental health purposes.
Certified, visiting nurses and home healthcare professionals.
Help in your home with daily activities like bathing, dressing, eating and cleaning.
Community programs, such as adult day care and associated transportation.
Care in a nursing home or other assisted living facility.
Hospice and End-of-Life Services.
Private Duty Nursing
Many people don’t think about long-term care until they get into their 70s and 80s, and/or when their health begins to fail. At these ages, insurers are less likely to provide coverage due to their risk profile calculations, or if one does actually qualify, the premiums can be extremely high. Many long-term care policies have restrictions on age and health status.The best time to buy long-term care insurance is when you can afford it and before it’s needed, between 40 and 55 years of age, and generally at the time one has the highest likelihood of being eligible for a policy with the most reasonable premium costs. Long-term care insurance can be very expensive. An individual who’s 65 years old and in good health can expect to pay at least between $2,000 and $3,000 a year for a policy that covers nursing home care and home care, with premiums adjusted for inflation.