This is a guest post written by Ed Carter at Able Futures
When you live with a disability, you should have a savings plan for your eventual long-term care needs. Planning for long-term care will not only protect your family’s finances, but it will also afford you more options of care. Here are ways to help you financially prepare.
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While Medicare does not pay for long-term care, it can still be a valuable asset to Americans living with disabilities. Millions of Americans have chosen a Medicare Advantage plan to supplement their coverage. Specific plans cover vision, hearing, and dental care, which can be beneficial for your needs. These plans vary by state, so be sure to research yours.
Selling Your Home or Renting It Out
For many people who move into a long-term care facility, selling their home can help them pay for the care they need. By selling your home, you’ll receive the funds you require in one lump sum, though you’ll need to work with a real estate agent to put the house on the market and find someone to take it off your hands. Also, keeping in mind that selling a home is not an option for people who receive in-home care where they live.
Another option available to seniors who own their home is to rent it out. According to Redfin, renting out your home is a smart choice if you think you’ll move back in at some point. However, renting does come with its own share of issues, including maintenance, collecting rent, and vetting tenants. As such, it’s important to hire a property manager or have a trusted friend or loved one assist you with this process. However, by renting out your house, you’ll receive a steady monthly income that can help cover the cost of your long-term care.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is exactly what it sounds like. These policies are pricey, but for good reason. As expensive as Medicare is today, health costs are expected to increase to as much as $18.28 trillion worldwide by 2040. And an estimated 58 percent of men and 79 percent of women ages 65 and older will need long-term care at some point. Paying a long-term care insurance premium may take a substantial chunk out of your annual budget, but in case you need custodial care, you will have access to all the funds you need.
The younger you are, the more affordable long-term care insurance is, but generally the costs vary from person to person. Hiring a health insurance broker can be a lifesaver when it comes to finding the best policies for the best premiums. Note that a lower premium does not always mean the most affordable option, especially if you have a disability that requires attention.
Health Savings Account
A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged investment account for which millions of Americans qualify. An HSA allows people who have high-deductible insurance plans save additional income for future health care costs without having to pay taxes on those funds. While the definition of a high-deductible insurance plan can change, in 2018 the IRS defined it as a plan with deductibles at $1,350 per individual or $2,700 for a family, and whose out-of-pocket maximum is at most $6,650 or $13,300.
Those with a HSA can deposit as much as $3,450 a year as individuals or up to $6,850 as a family. Those ages 55 and older can tack on an additional $1,000 a year to their account as they prepare for the increasing costs of healthcare in retirement. Withdrawals from an HSA are tax-free when used for qualified expenses including:
● Annual Physical Examination
● Dental Treatment
● Diagnostic Devices
● Disabled Dependent Care Expenses
● Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
● Hearing Aids
● Home Care
● Long-Term Care
● Nursing Services
● Psychiatric Care
● Weight-Loss Program
Given the likelihood of someone with a disability needing custodial care of some kind, saving for these healthcare costs is the responsible thing to do. Hiring a health care broker can help you find the best policy that will save you the most money over time. Additionally, a health savings account is a great tool that allows Americans to save thousands tax-free. These funds can be used on a number of healthcare costs including long-term care.