By David C. Moreland Vice President of Sales and Marketing have explained the lifecare product that we offer here at Shell Point to thousands of people. One of the things I find interesting is the varied backgrounds of these individuals. I’ve talked to retired doctors, school teachers and college professors, lawyers, mail carriers, farmers, CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, housewives, pastors and missionaries, military officers, independent business owners, and so many others. While their backgrounds are unique, one thing these people have in common is that they are “planners.”
A Comparison of Long Term Care Insurance vs. Lifecare
Are you a “Planner” or a “Wait and See”? Some people don’t want to think about what the future might bring. They prefer to take a “wait and see” approach to life, which tends to bring unpleasant surprises. “Planners” do not take a “wait and see” approach, but rather they want to prepare in advance for the possibilities – both good and bad – that may come along. By planning for the future, “planners” not only protect themselves, but they also protect their children from having to assume that responsibility later on. The odds are great that you or someone you love will need longterm care at some point in life. According to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, almost half of Americans who reach age 70 will need some type of long-term care during the remainder of their lives. Plus, the cost of long-term care can be staggering. Currently, the average cost of a year in a nursing home is more than $58,000. Around the clock care at home can be calculated at a fee of about $15 an hour for a private-pay, licensed home health aide, and a nurse can cost two to three times more.
What About Medicare? Many people unfortunately assume that Medicare will take care of them if they need to go into an assisted living or skilled nursing home. But that is not the case. Medicare does not pay for any assisted living, and Medicare has very specific, narrowly-defined rules for what it will pay for a nursing home stay, which is based only on recuperative care following a hospital stay. In other words, a lingering or chronic illness such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s would not even be considered. In the 2003 Guide to Medicare, the explanation of benefits states that, following a 3-day hospital stay, Medicare will pay nursing home costs for each benefit period as follows: For the first 1 through 20 days, Medicare will pay 100% of the stay. On the 21st day through the 100th day of skilled care, the patient is required to pay $105 per day. After day 100, regardless of the patient’s condition, Medicare will no longer pay for any of the nursing care stay. You are required to pay 100% of the costs incurred. It is easy to see why Medicare is not the answer.
What Is Long-Term Care? Long-term care is a variety of support services for people who lack the ability to take care of themselves. Long-term care may be needed for a short period of time following a surgery or minor health crisis, or it may be needed for an extended period of time in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury. There are several levels of long-term care based on the amount of care needed by the individual. Longterm care can be provided in your own home, in an assisted living facility, or in a skilled nursing center (nursing home). At Shell Point, The Larsen Pavilion provides 24-hour skilled nursing care by licensed medical professionals under the direct orders of a physician. Assisted living is provided in the King’s Crown and The Arbor at Shell Point for people who need general assistance with activities of
daily living, such as bathing, housekeeping, dressing, transferring, preparation of meals, or the medically-supervised distribution of their medications. Both assisted living and skilled nursing are included in the lifecare plan at Shell Point.
What Is the Difference Between Long-Term Care Insurance and Lifecare? The differences between longterm care insurance and the lifecare product offered by Shell Point are many; however, there are three main differences that I feel merit some examination in detail. They can be identified as Cost, Crisis and Care. Below is a brief description of each distinction; however, there is not enough room in this article to clearly go into great detail. I would recommend that you speak with an expert in the field of financial planning regarding this, or any other information, on long-term care insurance. For information about lifecare, I hope you will avail yourself of one of the many presentations we give at Shell Point about lifecare, or perhaps you would like to make a personal appointment for a free private consultation with a retirement counselor.
amenities package, and unlimited long-term care for life in either assisted living or skilled nursing, as needed. In the three areas of cost, crisis and care, the lifecare package offers a very compelling case to the careful life planner. Lifecare at Shell Point is funded by a one-time entrance fee and monthly maintenance fee. These combined fees guarantee a private condominium-type residence, interior and exterior maintenance, housekeeping, a fulfilling lifestyle amenities package, and what we believe to be the most comprehensive array of assisted living, skilled nursing and physician services in the industry. The entrance fee and monthly maintenance fee are based on the size of the residence selected. Entrance fees at Shell Point start as low as $93,000. If care is ever needed, there are no elimination periods, nor is there any limit to the duration of the care that may be needed. With simply stated fees, one is able to carefully chart one’s economic future, with assurances that decisions made today will secure the desired results tomorrow. During the early retired years of autonomy and high energy, the on-site Shell Point medical staff strive to optimize quality of life for each resident, offering personalized attention to issues of health, wellness, illness, and fitness. Should longterm care ever emerge in one’s experience, however, personally trained on-site social workers are present and ready to assist individuals and families as they manage life’s inevitable transitions. When caring professionals are needed, they are there! What has emerged in my perception as one of the strongest benefits of lifecare at Shell Point, is the fact that quality care is available at both the assisted living and skilled nursing level all day, every day, in perpetuity. If the need for care emerges, there is no question as to whether care will be available or how much it will cost. Lifecare at Shell Point Retirement Community offers the ultimate security.
The Cost A secure retirement includes knowing that you have taken every possible step to protect your assets from being depleted and losing your independence in the event of a health crisis, such as a devastating illness or disabling injury that would require some form of long-term skilled nursing care.
Long-Term Care Insurance Long-term care insurance is intended to protect an individual from a portion of the financial risks associated with long-term care that could be needed in the future. Long-term care insurance guarantees that a specific amount of money will be available to pay for a specific amount of care in the future. In other words — a check in the mail. For individuals in middle age, there is seldom an immediate need for long-term care at that stage of life. Prior to age 60, the odds are in your favor that you will not need to make a claim on the insurance. Many people purchase long-term care insurance at this stage to establish a lower monthly premium price based on their current age. As the customer ages, the premiums go up incrementally.
Lifecare at Shell Point Lifecare at Shell Point is available to individuals age 60 and older and provides a contract for care that guarantees a personal residence, numerous support services, a comprehensive lifestyle
When is the best time to select a dentist? When your teeth are in fairly good condition and you want to maintain them, or when you have an excruciating toothache? The need for longterm skilled nursing care is generally instigated with a health crisis of some kind. Stroke, heart attack, or any other number of diseases can strike without warning and cause the need for immediate 24hour care. Diseases that progress gradually, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, may also lead to the need for care and, while the onset may have been gradual, the decision to seek long-term care is often accompanied by a crisis of some
kind. Even a planned surgery such as a hip or knee replacement can require follow up long-term skilled nursing care. When a person buys long-term care insurance, they figure the worst is over. They may feel that they have faced the future and dealt with whatever might be around the corner, and now they can sit back and relax. That is not altogether true. With long-term care insurance, you have arranged to have a certain amount of care paid for on an annual basis, in the event of a medical crisis requiring long-term care. However, there are many decisions that have not been made. Where will you go to receive this care? What if there is no facility nearby? What if your long-term care policy has restrictions that you were not aware of, such as elimination periods, ceilings on the amount of coverage per day, and other factors that could create a problem when the time comes to use the coverage? All of these issues need to be identified and carefully considered when evaluating such a purchase, rather than waiting until the time of crisis.
ing your own decisions about your own future. In the event of a crisis, you will not need to make any emergency decisions about skilled nursing care because you have already taken care of that “what if.”
One of the underlying factors
Who Decides? For some, help during a crisis may come through the assistance of a nearby family member or friend, but some people do not want to be a burden to their loved ones and refuse to ask for help from their children or friends. This is to be expected and should be dealt with prior to any crisis to avoid the necessity of having to seek outside assistance when it comes to making such personal decisions. Perhaps you are relying on a spouse to be able to handle the many details involved in not only finding a suitable facility and location, but also in seeing to it that the facility will offer proper care at suitable standards. Of course, usually during a crisis, the spouse may also be experiencing feelings of anxiety, guilt, sadness, or fear that make decision-making difficult and a burden. When you purchase lifecare at Shell Point, you are making more than just a financial decision. You are deciding now, while you are healthy, where and how you will receive future care. You are mak-
to consider when making the decision between long-term care insurance versus lifecare is the actual care. Where will the care be available? Will there be room available for me? Will it be available when I need it? Will it be nearby so my spouse and friends can visit? What standards will be in place to ensure that I receive quality care? Can I count on the staff to whom I have trusted my loved one? Will he or she be treated in a manner to which they are accustomed? If I am no longer able to drive, will we become isolated from each other? By purchasing lifecare at Shell Point, all of those questions are answered and you no longer need worry about those details. With long-term care insurance, there is the guarantee of some form of payment, but there is no plan in place as to where you will go or what type of facility you may have to move into. Don’t leave these matters undecided. If you are thoughtfully planning for the future, then make all of these decisions now, while you are in charge of your own future.
Why I Am Convinced I hope I have given you something to think about today and that I have provided a clear explanation of the pros and cons of these two products. But there is one more point I would like to make about lifecare at Shell Point. I believed so strongly in the validity of this product and in its effectiveness for securing the future, that I recommended it to my parents when they retired. They moved to Shell Point in 1986 and enjoyed the community for several years before my father unexpectedly passed away. I was comforted by the knowledge that my mother was in good hands, and even more so, when she d e v e l o p e d Alzheimer’s later on. My mother received wonderful care at Shell Point and I realized firsthand that this was the wisest decision my parents ever made. My wife and I are already planning for our future at Shell Point when we retire some day.