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K-State Today

March 10, 2016

Benefit available: Long-term care insurance

Submitted by Human Capital Services - Benefits

K-State benefit-eligible employees have two programs offered to them through the state of Kansas: Long-term care insurance and lifetime benefit term insurance. Learn more by attending a seminar at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. Friday, March 11, in the K-Ballroom in the K-State Student Union. Educational webinars also are offered through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Long-term care is defined as daily assistance for those who are not able to do activities of daily living due to prolonged illness, chronic disability or cognitive impairment. Private health insurance plans and disability insurance policies do not cover this type of care. Medicare does not pay for long-term custodial care, either; it covers only the costs of a limited "recovery" period after an illness as part of the transition from hospital to home. Additionally, Medigap plans do not cover the costs of long-term skilled care in a nursing home or other facility.

For these reasons, many people are turning to long-term care insurance. These plans help pay for the high costs of nursing home care, assisted living arrangements, respite care or home care services required due to a diagnosis of chronic illness such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Many financial advisors strongly recommend that adults of all ages consider long-term care insurance since, if purchased early enough, premium costs may be significantly reduced. A major consideration for purchasing long-term care insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, is whether individuals have assets they want to protect, as the substantial annual cost of long-term care can quickly deplete even a sizable nest egg. However, long-term care insurance is not for everyone. If your only income comes from Social Security, and you currently have or expect to have minimal or no retirement savings, you will likely qualify for Medicaid and should not purchase long-term care insurance.

Read more from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the National Advisory Center for Long Term Care Information.

For additional information regarding the new long-term care program, call the dedicated Long Term Care Customer Service Number sponsored by ACSIA Partners at 877-720-2165.