The “Opportunity Cost” of Long Term Care

Have you noticed the topic of caregiving coming up in your conversations with friends and family? You’re not the only one! In fact, this has become a popular topic of conversation, and Chris Farrell of the Star Tribune wants to tell you why.

According to his article, the level of preparedness for long term care events within the United States is at an all-time low. More individuals are burdening themselves with the full-time, unpaid job of providing their aging loved ones with the care they need.

Farrell claims that this is the result of poor planning for future health care needs. Much of this stems from the preconceived notion that standard health insurance will pay for the cost of long term care.

However, Medicare, a popular form of health insurance for aging individuals, surprisingly covers very few of these expenses. Another option individuals may rely on is Medicaid; however, this option forces applicants to maintain a status below the poverty line to qualify for coverage.

Though the cost of long term care insurance may be discouraging to some, Farrell begs us to consider the “opportunity cost” of providing long term care to our own family members. When spending countless hours providing care, the time and money that would have been made working a normal job are lost.

Consider this:

  • The average caregiver spends $5,000 or more per year in out-of-pocket expenses for caregiving.
  • Also, 79% of caregivers have had to miss work because of caregiving duties, and 15% have considered quitting their jobs in order to provide care. 2

With 52% of individuals age 65 projected to need some form of long term care before the end of their life, and 14% needing services for more than five years1, it is wise to be prepared for unforeseen situations so that major sacrifices do not have to be made.

By securing your future with a long term care insurance option that fits your unique lifestyle, you can assure that you do not risk paying the high “opportunity cost” of unpaid family care.

For the original article, click here.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Americans: Risks and Finances

2, Caregiving in 2016.

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