As 70 million baby boomers (me included) start the aging process and begin to utilize healthcare services on a more consistent basis, attention always turns to how to pay for care as we age. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of individuals over 65 will require some type of LTC services but, only 7.2 million Americans currently own LTC Insurance policies. We purchase all types of insurance; car, home, life, health, pet, phone, electronics, appliances, etc. When it comes to planning for our future needs, we don’t.

As Care Managers, we see situations all the time of middle-age clients who have had a catastrophic health event happen; stroke, accident, heart attack, that has left them with limited options for a full recovery. We have seen the financial devastation such an event can cause a family not including the enormous stress it places on a family member who, in the blink of an eye, becomes a full-time care-giver.

We’ve also seen the incredible advances in health technology that support recovery; devices that can help stroke and spinal cord patients regain mobility; technology for neuro recovery including apps that help stimulate the brain and, many others that offer encouragement. Some of these are covered under insurance plans but, many aren’t. Long-term Care Insurance could have been helpful in many of these cases.

A LTC Insurance policy could have been used to provide daily care services by a professional care-giver freeing up funds that could be used to assess, evaluate and pay for supportive technology; or, other needs that support the mental and emotional health of the patient. We’ve seen families collapse under the enormous financial strain of caring for a loved one; LTC Insurance can be a big help in alleviating that. It’s never too early to make it a part of your future plan.