Many Arizona residents have had experience with a relative having long-term care needs, such as nursing home care, assisted living, or home healthcare. These services can get expensive and put a financial strain on what’s already (in many cases) an emotionally difficult situation. Due to these costs, it wouldn’t take very long to spend all your assets or a large sum of money on care.
Long-term care insurance is a method to protect your assets from these high expenses. Traditional health insurance doesn’t cover long-term medical needs, and neither does Medicare (in most cases). In many cases, Medicaid won’t cover you unless you’ve already depleted many of your existing assets. With long-term care insurance, your family is also protected from having to serve as caregivers.
Arizona Long-Term Care Insurance
- Long-term care costs put a high financial burden on Arizona residents each year
- ALTCS can take some of the pressure off by helping with costs
- Long-term care insurance can help you protect your assets
- Buying long-term care insurance while you’re still healthy is best
- Working with an attorney is a good way to navigate the often-complicated long-term care process
It’s a good idea to buy long-term care insurance as soon as possible. Some insurers offer discounts for customers in good health. And if you buy coverage while you’re still healthy, you’ll save money even if that changes down the road. If you wait too long to get long-term care coverage, however, you might end up with a health condition that makes you uninsurable by company standards. Each insurance agency has their own standards for acceptable health.
Types of Long-Term Care Insurance
You have two options to choose from for long-term care insurance in Arizona: Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance or Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance. Let’s look at some details about each type below:
Traditional LTC Coverage
The first type is known as Traditional LTC (Long-Term Care) Insurance, which you’ll pay a yearly premium for. If you have a physical or cognitive impairment that requires long-term care, the policy will cover it for you. Traditional LTC coverage makes up about 50 percent of all long-term care insurance policies.
Hybrid LTC Coverage
Hybrid policies combine long-term care benefits with the advantages of life insurance. You can either purchase your hybrid policy over a period of time or in one lump sum. If you end up needing long-term care, a Hybrid LTC policy will work similarly to a life insurance policy and pay your beneficiary a death benefit once you pass on. The amount of this benefit is often around the same amount you pay for the insurance.
Buying long-term care insurance gives you more options for the type of care you can receive. You’ll, of course, have access to better quality care the more you’re willing to spend on it. If you’re relying on Medicaid alone, you’ll only be able to choose between the nursing facilities that accept that form of payment. Keep in mind that affording long-term care insurance can be difficult if you don’t have savings or earn a low income.
How Working With an Attorney Can Help
There are many aspects of the Medicaid process that can be overwhelming, especially to families who are already struggling with a medical condition or long-term care needs. If you need help meeting the income requirements to receive care or have questions on getting long-term care insurance, speak with an Elder Law attorney to get answers or the assistance you need.
FAQs on Long-Term Health Insurance in Arizona
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding long-term health insurance:
Q: At what age should I buy long-term care insurance?
As we get older, our health tends to change. As soon as you get to your 50s, you’re likelier to need more medications and medical care. These changes in your health status might make it harder for you to get long-term care coverage. Ideally, you should have long-term care insurance coverage by the time you reach your mid-50s. Just remember that it will almost always set you back to wait longer, and that being uninsured leaves you at risk for having to pay out of pocket for an unexpected illness or accident.
Q: How can I determine the right long-term care insurance policy for me?
In order to choose the best policy for you, you’ll need to determine what type of risk you’re working with. Think about health conditions that run in your family, your current health conditions (if you have any), personal preferences, and whether or not you have any relatives who could serve as caregivers. For example, if you would rather remain at home for your long-term care and have a family member who will care for you, you can get a policy with fewer benefits.
Q: Will Medicare help cover my long-term health care expenses?
Medicare is a federal health insurance system designed for people older than 65 or those who are younger and have a disability. However, Medicare won’t cover the majority of your long-term care costs, such as custodial care.
Q: How do I buy long-term health insurance?
To get long-term care insurance coverage, you must complete an application and provide some answers to questions about your health. The agency might ask you for an interview over the phone or in person and require you to provide your medical records. As soon as they approve you for your policy, you will begin making premium payments.
Need Help Qualifying for Long Term Care Services in Arizona?
In order to qualify for long-term care services in Arizona under ALTCS, you need to reside in the state and be older than 65 or have a developmental disability. You’ll also receive an assessment for your medical and financial situation to determine whether or not you’re eligible. Every year, a high percentage of applicants are denied for ALTCS benefits.
You can work with one of our Elder Law attorneys to help increase your odds of getting approved for care. They can also answer your questions about long-term care insurance.
Need Help Applying for ALTCS in Arizona?
If you need help setting up Medicaid, speaking with a lawyer is a good place to start. The application process itself can be complex and confusing, and making mistakes can set you back in attaining benefits and services. If your situation is complicated or you need help meeting the eligibility requirements, one of our attorneys can answer your questions.
Contact the JacksonWhite Elder Law team today at (480)467-4337 and learn how we can help to ensure you receive the maximum ALTCS benefits available, while preserving as many of your assets as possible.
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