This is excerpted from Chapter 20 of A Survival Guide to Aging – this book was written by Chris Orestis
Planning for long-term care is a tricky proposition. Not only do you have to navigate your many, complex options for funding care, but you have to ask yourself a lot of tough questions. The cost of long-term care can be mind-boggling. Even worse, it can be hard to account for the many unseen costs that you may encounter along the way.
When you’re planning for your future long-term care needs, you should consider some of these hidden costs that may sneak up on you.
The Costs that Aren’t Included
You may be surprised – especially given the large price tag – at what your long-term care options don’t cover. Whether you’re at a facility or receiving in-home care, make sure you always ask which costs are not included in the sticker price. Typically, some of these additional expenses may be transportation, dietary supplements, personal care supplies, and furniture. You may also find that some services – like certain household tasks or one-on-one care – may not be covered. Make a list of everything you might need and ask providers what’s covered and what’s not.
Moving or Relocating
If you or a loved one are in a position where you have to move to a new facility, you’ll likely be responsible for the costs of moving. Not only does this include any special medical transportation, but also the cost to move furniture and any move-in fees a facility might charge. Some of these costs may be covered by insurance, but others may not be. Be sure to budget for these expenses.
Assistive Devices or Equipment
One important part to planning for long-term care is to consider what your insurance covers. While it likely covers most of your medical needs, it may not cover some special devices or equipment – especially “upgrade” options – that you may need or want. Consider buying supplemental insurance or saving a little extra so that you can afford special equipment in the future.
Insurance Deductibles and Co-Pays
It’s easy to fall into the assumption that if your insurance covers a service, you’re set. But watch out for insurance deductibles and co-pays, which in some cases may be very steep. Use these extra costs help guide your budget planning.
If your hope is to stay in your own home, you may find that you have to make some costly modifications to your dwelling to make it more habitable. These modifications might include the installation of a ramp, the addition of handicapped equipment, or widened doorways. Once again, while insurance may cover some of these costs, you may be surprised at what is not covered. Consider these expenses when you’re planning your care options.
Chris Orestis is CEO of Life Care Funding (www.lifecarefunding.com) and a 20-year veteran of both the insurance and long-term care industries. A former Washington, D.C., lobbyist, he is a nationally known senior-care advocate and author of the Amazon best-selling books “Help on the Way” and “A Survival Guide to Aging.” Orestis also is a legislative expert, featured speaker, columnist and contributor to a number of insurance and long-term care industry publications. He is a frequent guest on national radio programs, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Fox Business News and PBS.