Health & Beauty

Planning for Long-Term Health Care Crucial

October 17, 2009

(NewsUSA) – Crossing your fingers and hoping you won't need
long-term health care is no way to spend your golden years.

As baby boomers save for dream retirements, most don't realize how easily these dreams
can be derailed. The culprit? The cost of long-term care.

Many people are not aware of the exorbitantly high costs associated with nursing home
care, home care services and other medical needs of the aging.

"Americans are saving for retirement and anticipating their health care needs," said
Andrew Hutchison, vice president of Mutual of Omaha. "But, many people have overlooked long-term
care, making it the largest unfunded liability Americans face today."

The figures are daunting. Industry estimates place current costs of home health care
services at around $20,000 per year and nursing home stays at more than $65,000. Other long-term
care costs include assisted living facilities, hospice care and adult day care.

Medicare lacks coverage for such costs and so do most retiree health plans. Therefore, people
who do not plan for these

expenses face potentially depleting their savings and relying on Medicaid, or relying on
family and friends.

Another solution is to purchase long-term care insurance.

"The reality is that most Americans will need long-term care at some point in their
lives," Hutchison said. "The question is how to pay for it. Long-term care insurance purchased from
a company that is stable and financially sound is the best choice for most Americans."

Knowing what to look for in a plan and researching your options will help make
choosing long-term care insurance an easier process.

Mutual of Omaha, for instance, offers a plan allowing two pools of long-term care
benefits: one for care at home and one for care in a facility. Each pool can be accessed
independently; that is, you can draw from one without diminishing the other. Or, depending on your
needs, you can choose the simplicity of one maximum benefit for all care services

For more information about these plans and long-term care insurance in general, log
on to