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Long term care

Long term care includes a wide range of medical and custodial services for people who are either ill or advanced in years and therefore require special care. The need for long term care can be conditioned by an injury, a disability, a prolonged illness, a terminal disease, or an old age. Long term care can be temporary, lasting only several weeks or months, and ongoing.

Skilled care and custodial care are the terms generally used in policies offering long term care. The former means care provided by medical specialists and the latter is used for care provided by aides and volunteers to help a person with everyday needs and supervision. Medicare and most private health insurance plans pay only for skilled care and do not cover custodial care that is not in conjunction with skilled care. Yet if custodial services are part of the skilled care plan, they will be covered by this plan.

Long term care can be rendered in different settings, including your own home, nursing homes, hospice facilities, adult day care centers and assisted living facilities. Generally, long term care services are very expensive. That's why the earlier you enroll in long term care insurance, the lower the premiums will be.