Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

Long-term care planning options

Connecticut residents should be thinking about future long-term care needs and how to pay for them today. Roughly 70 percent of those who are age 65 or older will need long-term care at some point. While a person has the option of paying for the associated costs of such care on his or her own, that may not be practical. The median cost for a private room in a nursing home is $97,455 per year.

That number could be even higher depending on where a person lives. For many, a long-term care insurance policy may cost too much to be relied on to cover all the expenses incurred while sick or injured. Ideally, a policy will be used to cover gaps after accounting for income from Social Security and other sources in retirement. While Medicaid may cover medical costs, people will have to exhaust their assets first, which can have negative consequences of its own.

When choosing a long-term care policy, it is important to understand that premiums can go up. People will also need to consider how often they will use the policy to determine how much value they get from it. Those who want assurances that their premium payments won't be wasted can buy hybrid long-term policies that come with death benefits.

Access to medical care is one of many issues that an individual may need to consider when creating an estate plan. A traditional or hybrid long-term care policy may help to cover the cost of a hospital stay or in-home care. It may also provide a death benefit that future generations could benefit from. An attorney may help a person create a plan that manages health costs and preserves assets.

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