Next to the fear of physical dependence, many people fear not having enough money to pay for their own and their care partner’s needs. Being sick often requires expensive care and treatment. If you’re not able to work because of illness or you’re caregiving full time, the loss of income, and especially the loss of your health insurance coverage, might present an overwhelming financial problem. You can, however, avoid some of the risks by planning and knowing your resources.
Health insurance and Medicare may meet only a part of the ultimate cost of care. Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and most private “Medigap” insurance policies cover only the 20 percent not covered by Medicare. Usually, they don’t cover procedures or treatment that aren’t also covered by Medicare.
Supplemental insurance policies, however, offer the kind of coverage that provides for care needs that Medicare and Medigap insurance don’t pay for. If you plan to buy such insurance for yourself and/or your care partner, carefully read the sections on limitations and exclusions. Be sure the policy covers nursing home care at a daily rate that’s realistic for your community. Make sure you know how long they’ll pay for care. There’s usually a cap of three months or so in a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility — less if you or your care partner are judged to not be getting better and only need “custodial” care. [Read more…]