At Geyer Law, we are definitely feeling the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our clients’ planning for long term care. The goal continues to be establishing a plan for lifelong care that does not deplete the clients’ hard-earned assets.
Ltc-associates.com explains that the pandemic is affecting three different aspects of Long Term Care Insurance:
- Underwriting (buyer eligibility)
- Utilization (whether policies are used in or out of nursing homes)
- Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 may find their applications for LTC insurance postponed 30-90 days.
- Some carriers are limiting age-and-benefit combinations because social distancing guidelines may interfere with an in-home interview of the prospect
Prior to COVID-19, many consumers bought policies that cover only nursing home stays. The pandemic has emphasized the importance of comprehensive coverage that may be used in a variety of settings, including the patient’s own home.
There are currently no standardized exclusions in any LTC policies that are specific to COVID-19.
“The coronavirus has made it more difficult to qualify for long-term care insurance, but insurers are adapting coverage as care needs change,” writes Kimberly Lankford in U.S. News. Some effects Lankford highlights include:
- All long-term care facilities have had to increase protections for their residents, who are at the greatest risk from the pandemic.
- Some home-care providers are charging extra to work during this challenging time.
- If you had a positive COVID-19 test, insurers generally want you to wait for three to six months after receiving a negative test before applying for a policy.
- Some families are cutting back on the hours for home-care workers and providing more care for their aging parents themselves, especially if they’ve been working remotely during the pandemic.
- “The lasting impact of the pandemic may also affect the way that care is provided in the future. For example, there has been more interest in nursing homes that are being built on a smaller scale,” explains one senior advisor with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
At Geyer Law, we understand the fears and family dynamics that often come into play with legal issues. We stand ready to help clients deal with the extra level of complexity imposed by the realities of COVID-19.
– by Cara M. Chittenden, Associate Attorney with Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates