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Wednesday, November 07, 2007 9:00 AM

HC411R - Long-term Care Insurance

Rand: This is Healthcare 411.  It’s better to think about long-term-care insurance before you need it.  More after this


Woman:  I’ve just been to my doctor and he’s ordered lots of testsblood work, scans, x-rays.

Man:  Why?  Is everything okay?

Woman:  That’s just it, I don’t really know the whole story.

Announcer:  One of the most important things you can do for your health is ask questions.  Be an active and informed member of your health care team.  Remember, your health care is about you.  Get the brochure Be Prepared for Medical Appointments at ahrq.gov/consumer.  A message from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

[End PSA]

Rand: This is Healthcare411.  Most of us think long-term care is something we might need only when we’re much older, but the need can arise regardless of age.  AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy.

Dr. Clancy: Most people think that long term care is for older frail people who need round-the-clock care or for people with dementia.  But long-term skilled nursing care can also help younger people recover from a serious illness and can include speech, physical therapy and related types of care.

Rand: And it’s not just nursing home care.

Dr. Clancy: You can receive long-term care in a nursing home or a rehabilitation facility or your own home.  But regardless of the location, long-term care can be very expensive.  A long-term-care insurance policy you get when you’re healthy may help make services much more affordable later.

Rand: What should we know when considering long-term care insurance?

Dr. Clancy:  Long-term care insurance is not a part of your regular health insurance and will have a separate premium.  Your age and your health status will determine the rates or even whether you’re eligible. And no plan will pay 100 percent of your long-term health expenses.  This is a field that’s evolving rapidly so it’s important to pay attention to the details.

 Rand: For more information, get the booklet Questions and Answers about Health Insurance, available at ahrq.gov/consumer.  I’m Rand Gardner.  Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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