Retirement: What’s Your Plan? From Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
With increased longevity and medical advancements, many retirees are concerned about the possibility of outliving their savings. And when it comes to retirement, you want to enjoy it — and that means you want to be prepared. There are many considerations to think about in retirement besides your living expenses, such as where you live, family support, your health, and the rising costs of care. That’s why it’s so important to plan now for any long-term care you may need.
Long-term care is the ongoing care you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself due to chronic illness, injury, disability, or the aging process.This type of care is expensive and is generally not covered by traditional types of insurance plans or Medicare.
One common misconception about long-term care is that it is primarily nursing home care. Actually, most long-term care is provided at home by a family member, friend, or home health aide. Long-term care is also available within the community at adult day care centers. Additionally, assisted living is an option for those who can no longer live at home, but need only a limited amount of support.
When the need for long-term care arises, friends and family are often the first people called upon to provide care. However, assuming the role of caregiver can have a significant financial and emotional impact. Without support or assistance, these caregivers can suffer from depression, lost wages, physical injury, and disrupted personal relationships. Many are pulled in two directions, caring for both their children and their parents, which can be an incredible challenge.
Because of the wide array of care options, there is a great deal of freedom when it comes to creating the best plan of care for your needs. Unfortunately, not everyone plans ahead to save enough money to pay for the services that they need or want. Planning for long-term care can be unpleasant. But considering the high costs of care and the toll on family caregivers, it’s essential to consider as many options as possible should the need arise.
Face the future with confidence
Applying* for long-term care insurance such as the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) can be a smart way to help protect everything you’ve worked for during your retirement.
Since 2002, the FLTCIP has offered Federal employees and annuitants the opportunity to take control of their future long-term care needs by applying for long-term care insurance. Designed to be both comprehensive and flexible, the program offers benefits and features that are customizable to meet your needs.
Your choice of caregiver and setting
Today, many individuals prefer to remain at home, rather than receive long-term care in a facility, such as an assisted living facility or a nursing home. The FLTCIP can give enrollees confidence that, if a long-term care event occurs, their long-term care insurance will help reimburse for care in the setting of their choice. If home care is your preference, you’ll be pleased to know the FLTCIP includes a range of services that support care in your home, helping you maintain quality of life in familiar surroundings.
The FLTCIP covers approved care provided at home by informal caregivers such as friends, family members, and other private caregivers, as well as formal care by licensed caregivers. Informal caregivers cannot have lived with you at the time you became eligible for benefits, but they can live in your home after you become eligible. The program also provides reimbursement for actual covered services you incur up to 100% of your daily benefit amount. This feature can be especially attractive to individuals who value their independence and worry about relying on a loved one should they need care. Having such coverage helps spouses maintain their current lifestyle and minimizes the financial and emotional sacrifices adult children are often asked to make when a long-term care event occurs.
Understanding some of the burdens commonly associated with caregiving, the FLTCIP also reimburses for respite care, so your family caregiver can take much-needed time off. This benefit is covered up to 30 times your daily benefit amount per calendar year.
Once you’re determined to be benefit eligible, the FLTCIP’s stay-at-home benefit can help you remain at home safely and maintain your quality of life. Valuable stay-at-home covered services may include care-planning visits, modifications to your home, an emergency medical response system, durable medical equipment, caregiver training (training an informal caregiver to perform personal care services at the enrollee’s home), and home safety checks. Services are covered up to 30 times your daily benefit amount in your lifetime.
As you consider long-term care insurance and enrolling in the FLTCIP, think about how you would like to receive care and by whom. Keep in mind that even when home care is provided by a licensed caregiver, a small amount of informal assistance can often make the difference in whether you are able to stay at home or need to move to a facility setting. And being able to reimburse your informal caregiver can sometimes make the difference in whether he or she is able to provide the care you need.
Start planning today
To determine if the FLTCIP is right for you, visit LTCFEDS.com to access a suite of online planning tools.
For personalized assistance, call 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337) TTY 1-800-843-3557 to speak with a program consultant. They are available to answer any questions you may have and can walk you step-by-step through the plan design and application process.
*Certain medical conditions, or combinations of conditions, will prevent some people from being approved for coverage. You need to apply to find out if you qualify for coverage under the FLTCIP.
Guest Post by Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
It’s a WAServes’ pleasure to share Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program’s article “Retirement: What’s Your Plan? From Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.” FLTCIP is a long-term care insurance program offered to Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants, active and retired members of the uniformed services, certain other eligible groups, and their qualified relatives.