Does My Veteran Parent Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

Author: Maine Veterans' Homes
Posted: March 02, 2017
Category: Long Term Care

Is it a sound financial investment for my parent, as a veteran, to purchase long-term care insurance?

This isn’t an easy “yes” or “no” question. Just like any other big decision in life, you should conduct thorough research and take into consideration your parent’s specific situation.

Before purchasing long-term care insurance, the AARP advises taking into account these two major factors:

  1. Family status. Evaluate the financial risk to family members who could incur out-of-pocket expenses for long-term care. Could the cost impoverish your other parent or your spouse’s partner? If your parent is single, he or she doesn’t face this risk and they may have less need for long-term care insurance.
  2. Most experts say the ideal candidates for long-term care insurance are those who can comfortably afford the premiums and premium increases. If the premiums consume more than 10 percent of your parent’s retirement income, he or she probably can’t afford the coverage, the AARP advises.

At What Age Should My Parent Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance

The earlier, the better is the recommendation in most cases when purchasing long-term care insurance.

Annual premiums will increase significantly if your parent waits until after 60 to take out a policy. Experts recommend purchasing coverage in your 50s, if possible. After age 70, premiums are typically unaffordable.

Is It Too Early to Explore Nursing Care Options?

Long-term care services and support have advanced immensely in recent years, giving seniors today more options and opportunities than ever before. This also means there is a wide range of costs and ways to pay for the costs of nursing home care.

Along with long-term care insurance, expenses are often covered by personal income and savings, annuities and reverse mortgages. Some seniors may qualify for public programs. As a veteran, your parent may qualify for veteran long-term care benefits.

As our population ages, many expect to see more long-term care financial products come on the market to help ensure all seniors get the care they need.

It is always best to be proactive when it comes to future care for your parent. Now that the conversation is started, combine financial planning with planning for where and how your parent would want care in the future. Suggest touring locations together and visit various options, such as assisted living, skilled nursing and/or long term care.

The more time you have, the more opportunity you have to fully compare nursing homes to find the right fit for your parent’s comfort, lifestyle and affordability.

What Veteran Benefits Does My Parent Get for Long-Term Care

As a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, your parent may qualify for long-term care or nursing home care veteran benefits provided by the Veterans Affairs. There are certain eligibility criteria involving service, level of care or assistance needed, income, insurance and other factors.

At Maine Veterans’ Home, we are an independent, nonprofit organization separate from the Veterans Affairs. We have six locations throughout Maine that provide care for veterans’, their spouses and gold-star parents who meet the Maine Veterans’ Home eligibility requirements.

Who is Eligible for Admission at Maine Veterans’ Home?

  • Veterans who were residents of Maine at the time of their entry into the U.S. Armed Forces or who are residents of Maine at the time of application to Maine Veterans’ Home.
  • He or she must have served one or more days on federal active duty other than for training purposes in the U.S. Armed Forces including the Reserve and National Guard.
  • Spouses, widows or widowers, and gold star parents, of eligible veterans.

In preparation of financial planning, gaining benefits and determining eligibility at Maine Veterans’ Home, we recommend you become familiar with your parent’s military discharge paperwork (DD Form 214) and inform your parent’s primary care provider of the intent to use the benefits of Maine Veterans’ Home.

We also advise you contact us as our team of healthcare professionals have knowledge and experience working with veterans and veteran organizations. We can help you navigate the process of benefits paperwork and eligibility and help you plan and align the best possible care for your parent.

At Maine Veterans’ Homes, we are more than an assisted living, skilled nursing or long-term care center. We are veterans’ advocates. We’re committed 24/7 to Maine’s veterans and their families.

We welcome you and your family to visit any one or all of our six locations throughout Maine, or to contact us for any additional resources you may need. Contact Maine Veterans’ Homes online or give us a call at 800-278-9494.