While the thought of needing long term care may be far from your mind today, circumstances can change. With people living longer, the chances of you or an aging relative requiring this type of care increases, which may bring added responsibility for you and your family. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a long-range care plan in place.
Long term care is personal care and other related services provided on an extended basis to people who need help with specific everyday activities (called activities of daily living) or who need supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The need for long term care can strike at any time in life due to chronic illness, injury, disability, or the aging process. What’s more, long term care can be expensive, and is generally not covered by traditional health insurance plans or Medicare.
Who will provide care?
The need for long term care can be a significant change for someone who is accustomed to independent living. This experience can be overwhelming, not only for you—but for your loved ones too. The demands of caregiving can be stressful, and often take a toll on a caregiver’s health and well-being.
A caregiver can be your family member, friend, or neighbor. About 80 percent of care at home is provided by unpaid caregivers.1 Caregiving responsibilities can include homemaking and hands-on care with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, or feeding.
Taking care of a loved one is a time-consuming commitment. Even if a family member or friend can find the time to take care of you, it often comes at a tremendous financial and emotional cost. Caregiving can cost the average caregiver in lost wages and, often times, a caregiver’s own health can deteriorate. Caregivers report having difficulty finding time for one’s self, managing emotional and physical strain, and balancing work and family responsibilities.2
Coverage under the FLTCIP
Applying for insurance coverage under the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) may be a smart choice for you. With benefits designed specifically for the federal family, the FLTCIP can help protect your savings and assets in the event you or your loved ones ever need long term care. Of the 268,000 federal family members enrolled in the FLTCIP, more than 50% started their coverage before age 55.
The FLTCIP is designed to reimburse for qualified long term care services and can lessen or eliminate an individual's reliance on a loved one to provide hands-on care. As you assess the FLTCIP’s value, consider these important benefits:
- The FLTCIP offers comprehensive insurance coverage for long term care services in a variety of settings—at home or in a facility, such as an assisted living facility or a nursing center—and your choice of caregiver.
- If home care is your preference, the stay-at-home benefit includes a range of services that support care in your home, helping you maintain your quality of life in familiar surroundings.
- Informal care provided by friends and family members, as long as they do not live in your home at the time you become eligible for benefits. (Note: Benefits for care provided by family members is limited to 500 days.)
- The program’s care coordination services offer enrollees and their qualified relatives information about long term care resources, such as local care providers and relevant community programs.
Plan ahead today
To determine if the FLTCIP is right for you, visit LTCFEDS.com to access a suite of online planning tools and resources. You can also register for two upcoming webinars, to be held December 11 and 12, which will detail the FLTCIP’s comprehensive benefits and features. Visit LTCFEDS.com/elearning to register.
If you would like personalized assistance, call 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337) TTY 1-800-843-3557 to speak with a program consultant. They are available to answer any questions you may have and can walk you step-by-step through the plan design and application process.
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Who Will Provide Your Care?,” longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics (accessed July 2019).
2. National Alliance for Caregiving. “Caregiving in the U.S. 2015,” caregiving.org/caregiving2015 (accessed July 2019).