In our last post we started a discussion on long-term care. Many people are not aware of just how many individuals will eventually need long-term care. This type of care relates to any activities that you can currently do independently, such as running errands, cooking meals, bathing and dressing yourself. When the time comes that you need assistance with these duties, how will you afford the help?

A survey of respondents showed that some 25 percent of people planned to use Medicaid to pay for their long-term care. The problem with this is that Medicaid typically does not pay for long-term care expenses. While people are aware that there is such a thing as long-term care insurance, it does not appear that many people have it.

Of those surveyed, 60 percent said they did not have long-term care insurance. Many of the respondents cited the price of this type of insurance, which can sometimes mean spending $3,000 per year in insurance premiums, as the main reason they did not buy into a plan. Other reasons for not getting this type of insurance included respondents’ beliefs that Medicaid or Medicare would cover those costs. On top of that, many individuals did not fully understand what long-term care insurance actually covers.

Planning ahead is always a good idea, no matter how difficult it may be to have to consider your future. Because elder law is a broad category of law, an experienced lawyer can discuss a large number of topics with a client, from estate planning to Medicaid planning to long-term care needs. Understanding all of your options can help you plan ahead to make sure your needs are met as you age.