In the last decade, short term care insurance has quickly grown to become a popular alternative to the more traditional care insurance plans. They offer similar benefits, helping to cover the expenses that come when you need assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and eating, or when you need more intensive types of care provided by assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
But despite their similarities, there are some serious differences between conventional and short term care insurance options. Choosing a health plan can be difficult in general, but when comparing two similar plans, it can be extra difficult.
We’ve gathered several of the ways these plans are different and how it might affect your decision.
Price Vs. Function
Conventional is significantly more expensive than short term care insurance, while offering many of the same services for up to an entire year. Deciding between price and function will likely depend on your own personal needs and medical history. If you are having trouble managing health care expenses, short term care insurance is a great way to feel comfortable.
While conventional care insurance has a high barrier to enrollment — due to the high cost of extended coverage time — short term care insurance is relatively easy to obtain, even if your medical record or age would disqualify you from conventional term care.
Another drawback to conventional care plans are the wait periods before you begin to enjoy the benefits of your policy. This elimination period is essentially a deductible, guaranteeing that you pay a certain amount into your policy before making a claim. Often, short term care options will allow you to make a claim almost immediately.
What About Medicaid?
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid is a wildly popular program with eight in 10 seniors saying it works well (although the general population is slightly less favorable, at six in 10 giving a positive review). But Medicaid can sometimes fall short of covering the cost of daily care.
Even when it does, it offers a bare-bones coverage, not covering excursions and other perks that allow you to enjoy your golden years as richly as a private plan would.
The choice between a conventional and short term care plan can be tricky. The most important consideration is what is right for your situation.