Whether you are a retiree yourself or you are helping an older parent or relative navigate the complex intricacies of aging, one aspect that requires comprehensive planning is long-term care. Another term for custodial care, long-term care generally refers to a wide range of personal care services that may be necessary for older people, especially those who have certain illnesses or physical challenges. Long-term care may be extremely expensive, so financial preparation is essential. 

According to Forbes, one of the most common misconceptions about long-term care is that Medicare covers it. While Medicare does offer coverage for a wide range of health care services, it does not provide any funds toward custodial care services. You may get Medicare coverage for “skilled” care from a medical professional such as a registered nurse or an occupational therapist. However, most people who provide long-term care services, such as assistance with eating, dressing and bathing, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities do not meet Medicare’s requirements for skilled caregivers. 

When you are putting together financial plans for medical care, it is essential to figure out how you will cover the cost of long-term care if it ever becomes necessary. There are several possible options: insurance, annuities, Health Savings Accounts and Medicaid. You may choose to purchase a long-term care insurance policy or a life insurance policy that includes a long-term care rider. Investing in an annuity or making contributions to an HSA are other ways to save money in preparation for paying for long-term care. If you meet eligibility requirements based on a disability or your income, you may qualify for Medicaid assistance.