California Long Term Care Insurance Cost Information
Each person has a unique set of long term care needs but if you're living in California it does not matter whether you require in-home care or skilled care in a nursing facility because either way you’ll be forced to fork out a chunk of money.
One year of care in California is very costly already so what more three years or five or even ten years of long term care? This explains why this U.S. state has never vacated its slot in the Top 10 most expensive states for long term care.
Genworth Financial, a leading Fortune 500 global financial security company, conducted an extensive survey on the median cost of care for 2012. Their studies reveal that the average median rate for assisted living facilities (private one bedroom) in California amounted to $42,000 per year. A private room in a nursing home, on the other hand, would cost an average median rate of $93,988, whereas a semi-private room would be around $81,760 a year.
|Region||Homemaker Services Hourly Rate
|Home Health Aide Hourly Rate
|Assisted Living Facility Monthly Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Los Angeles County||$20||$20||$3,600||$195||$240|
|Sacramento - Arden-Arcade - Roseville||$24||$24||$3,650||$225||$260|
|San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos||$23||$22||$3,075||$213||$266|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara||$25||$25||$3,500||$258||$301|
|San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles||$23||$24||$4,500||$195||$245|
|Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta||$24||$26||$4,400||$285||$350|
|Rest of State||$23||$23||$3,250||$231||$359|
Undeniably, long term care costs can ruin the finances and goals of many families in California. About 4.4 million adults in California are aged 65 and above, and more than 500,000 of these senior residents have an income that falls below the federal poverty level. Approximately 27% of the senior population is on Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid program) where women account for 15.3% of the figures. Medicaid spending in the State of California amounted to $42 billion in 2010, where the disabled accounted for the largest shares (42%) followed by the seniors (27%). California is one of the top 4 most expensive states in the nation to receive care.
California Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program
California Partnership for Long Term Care is a partnership between the Department of Health Care Services of the State of California and private insurance companies. The program aims to relieve the financial burden on the State's medical assistance program since Long Term Care is financed through a combination of private insurance and Medi-Cal.
California Long Term Care Partnership Policy
Partnership qualified long term care insurance policies offered by private insurance companies must meet requirements set by the Partnership Program and these include the special feature called Medi-Cal Asset Protection. An individual under a qualified Long Term Care Partnership policy may apply for Medi-Cal to receive ongoing care after he has used up his long term care insurance benefits, and he will not be required to comply with the program’s spend down rule or to exhaust his assets or resources.
A Partnership qualified policy’s "lifetime asset protection" also allows you to "purchase policies with coverage equal to the amount of assets you want to protect from approximately $47,000 up to your total assets."
For example, lets say you have assets (outside of your house and car) of $200,000. You buy a 4-year Partnership qualified Long Term Care insurance policy with a maximum benefit of $150 per day. The total coverage of the policy is therefore $150 times 4 years (1460 days) or $219,000. Upon reaching the fourth year and you would still need care you can access Medi-Cal Benefits without spending down your $200,000 of savings. Because of the asset protection feature, you are assured that your assets or resources are protected for life. You and your loved ones will not have to worry about depleting your resources which you hope to preserve for future use.
Types of Partnership Policies
There are two kinds of Partnership policies. The Comprehensive type covers care at home and community, and care in facilities (nursing homes and residential care facilities). The other kind of Partnership policy is the Facility Only type and only covers care in a facility. Both policies offer one to six years of coverage. All Partnership policies include the following features:
- Automatic inflation protection
- Waiver of premiums while receiving care in a facility. A Partnership policy must waive the premiums when a policyholder receives the Policy's Nursing Facility or Residential Care Facility benefit.
- A deductible that must be satisfied once in the policyholder's lifetime. Also called the Elimination Period, this is the number of days in which care is paid by the policyholder before the Policy begins to cover any expenses.
- Care coordination or assistance in planning and securing care services. Care coordination includes services provided by a licensed health care professional, a designee of a Care Management Organization approved by the State Department of Health, to assess and create a plan specific to one's Long Term Care needs.
- Interchangeable policy benefits for customizing care.
Facts on Partnership Policies in California
Data collected by the State of California Department of Health Care Services during the third quarter of 2008 revealed that Californians between ages 55 and 74 were the highest purchasers of Partnership policies. Most policyholders are married women. The most popular choice among purchasers is the comprehensive policy type - 33% chose a three year policy length while 10% chose Lifetime coverage. Policy benefits were mostly used for assisted living facilities and personal care.
Obtaining a Partnership Policy
Partnership policies may only be purchased from approved insurance companies. Licensed insurance companies in California must meet regulations and requirements set by the Partnership. Below is a list of carriers offering Partnership policies in the state of California:
- Genworth Financial
- Bankers Life and Casualty
- CalPERS Long-Term Care Program
- New York Life Insurance
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California Long Term Care Insurance References
- State-Specific Data From The Genworth 2010 Cost of Care Survey.
- State Medicaid Fact Sheets 2006-2007>California. Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Department of Health Care Services. CA.gov.>Long Term Care Facts>Consumer Facts.
- Department of Health Care Services. CA.gov.>Long Term Care>Partnership Policy Information.
- Department of Health Care Services. CA.gov.>Long Term Care>Partner Company Contact Information.
- Department of Health Care Services. CA.gov.> Change in California State Law for Medi-Cal Benefits. 2009.
- Department of Health Care Services. CA.gov.> Glossary of Long-Term Care Insurance Terms.