What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care (LTC) or custodial care is a variety of services including medical and non-medical care for people who have a chronic illness or disability. Long-term care can be provided in a variety of care settings including in the home, in the community, in assisted living or in a nursing home. Most long-term care is non-skilled personal care assistance, such as help with everyday activities like dressing, bathing or preparing meals.
How Can You Pay for Long-term Care?
Medicare and most health insurance plans, including Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) policies do not pay for long-term care. Medicare only pays for medically-necessary skilled nursing facility or home health care if you meet certain conditions.
Alternatives for financing long-term care needs include personal resources, Medicaid, home and community-based programs and long-term care insurance.
What is Long-term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance is private insurance coverage designed to assist people with the costs of long-term care needs that might result from a chronic disease serious accident, sudden illness, or cognitive impairment. People generally buy LTC insurance while they are still relatively healthy and independent. Long-term care services are different from traditional medical care in that their focus is not necessarily to improve the medical condition of the individual but to maintain the individual's quality of life. If care is needed, the policy pays all or part of the cost of certain types of care for a specified period of time or up to a pre-set dollar amount. Some policies offer “unlimited” coverage.
There are many different types of LTC insurance policies. When comparing policies, there are differences in terms of how much coverage is provided, the circumstances under which benefits will be paid, and the specific services that are covered. Georgia has standardized polices in terms of the criteria for receiving benefits and important consumer protection provisions with the Long-term Care Partnership and its related policies.
What is the Georgia Long-Term Care Partnership?
The Georgia Long-Term Care Partnership Program, administered by the Department of Community Health in collaboration with the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets by forming a partnership between Medicaid and private long-term care insurers.
For more information on the Georgia Long-term Care Partnership Program, please visit www.dch.ga.gov or call GeorgiaCares at 1-866-552-4464 (option 4).
The list of Insurance Companies selling Georgia Long-Term Care Partnership policies can be found here.