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Common questions about long-term care

Doing long-term care planning or thinking about getting all of the paperwork in order? It's wise to do this long before you need to use the plan, and asking the right questions can help. According to the National Institutes of Health, these are a few of the most common questions:

-- What are "out of pocket" costs?

These are costs not covered by insurance, even if insurance covers a larger amount. For example, if the insurance will cover $100,000 in costs, but you have max out-of-pocket costs of $10,000, you still need to come up with that $10,000. Be sure you always know the maximums and at what points they'll need to be paid.

-- How common is long-term care?

Long-term care options are incredibly common. Of those who are over 65 years old, around 70 percent need care in one form or another. Over 40 percent use nursing homes and assisted living centers.

-- Can you get care at home?

Yes, you can. Many people don't want to move to a nursing home. In-home care options are out there, though that does not mean they'll be right for everyone. There are also physical therapy sessions and other appointments that can be made to avoid a permanent move.

-- Should healthy people even consider long-term care?

Definitely. Having the plan in place means that you'll be ready if there is a sudden change, such as the onset of a disease or an accident. Life is unpredictable, so everyone should consider his or her options.

After you answer these questions and more, make sure you know exactly what legal steps must be taken in New York. It's very important to do this planning properly so that everything holds up and goes as desired when you do need it.

Source: NIH Senior Health, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed June 04, 2016

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