Arizona is a great place to retire. It’s warm, there’s no snow to shovel, and Arizona improves the quality of life for anyone with allergies or asthma. When you pack your bags and retire to Arizona, you’re probably not thinking about long-term care. But the sad reality is that 47% of men and 58% of women over 65 will need some form of long-term care. Let’s take a look at long-term care in Arizona so that if the need arises, you’ll be prepared.
- What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
- Types of Long-Term Care Insurance
- Long-Term Care Partnership Program in Arizona
- The Best Long-Term Care Insurance in Arizona
- What does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?
- How Much does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost in Arizona?
- Key Features of Long-Term Care Insurance in Arizona
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance is insurance that pays a daily amount for services to help seniors with activities of daily living. It covers services that aren’t covered by health insurance or Medicare. It requires medical underwriting, so the time to shop for long-term care insurance is not when you need it—you need to be fairly healthy to qualify. Learn more about everything you need to know about long-term care insurance.
Types of Long-Term Care Insurance
There are two types of long term care insurance—traditional long-term care and hybrid long-term care policies.
Traditional long-term care insurance is undergoing somewhat of a crisis these days. You can still find it, but only about a dozen companies still sell it, and more are leaving the market every day. Here are the best traditional long-term care insurance companies.
You choose the amount of coverage you want and pay a premium. Most policies will allow you to access benefits once you have difficulty with two out of six activities of daily living (ADL’s). ADL’s are:
- Toileting (getting on and off)
Because so many companies left the market but there was still a need for long-term care insurance, the hybrid long-term care insurance policy was born. This combines life insurance and long-term care. It’s more expensive, but many companies offer it and you won’t be faced with ever-escalating premiums, as can happen with traditional LTC insurance.
Long-Term Care Partnership Program in Arizona
Arizona has a partnership program that began in 2008. This pairs long-term care insurance with a state program. It allows you to qualify for Medicaid and still keep more of your assets. This is important, because ordinarily, to qualify for Medicaid in Arizona you must have less than $2,250 a month or less in income and have less than $2,000 total assets.
With a partnership program, you get to keep as much of your assets as you buy in insurance. It’s called a dollar-for-dollar exchange. If you purchase $300,000 in long-term care insurance, you can keep $300,000 of your assets and still qualify for Medicaid. You would use up all of your long-term care insurance, but rather than have to bankrupt yourself to qualify for Medicaid, you can hold onto $300,000 worth of your assets. Arizona will not come after your estate to get the money back after you die.
People used to create trust or try to give their money to their children, but now they have a five year “look back” period. If you transfer large amounts of your assets anywhere up to five years before you apply for Medicaid, you will be penalized for this and won’t qualify. Arizona’s partnership program prevents all of that from happening, but you still have to purchase long-term care insurance.
The Best Long-Term Care Insurance in Arizona
Long-term care insurance is getting more difficult to find. We did the homework for you and found the best traditional long-term care insurance providers in Arizona.
We also found the best hybrid long-term care insurance companies for you.
What does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?
Most long-term care policies allow you to access benefits once you have difficulty with two out of six ADL’s. You can also access benefits if you suffer from cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
There is often an elimination period, or a waiting period. You can choose how long you want the elimination period to be. A longer elimination period is less expensive, but the tradeoff is you’ll have to come up with the money out-of-pocket for a longer period of time.
Most policies today allow to use your daily benefit in whatever setting you’d like, including:
- Your home
- Adult day care
- Assisted living
- Nursing homes
If you elect to stay in your home to receive services, you can get:
- Skilled nursing care
- Occupational, speech, physical or rehabilitative therapy
- Home health aids (they provide assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.)
How Much does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost in Arizona?
The median cost of a private room in a nursing home in Arizona is $94,900 a year. If you share a room with someone, it’s $77,928. A home health aide charges an average of $131 a day. Assisted living costs $3,500 a month. As you can see, you can easily spend your entire nest egg on long-term care if you don’t have any insurance.
Key Features of Long-Term Care Insurance in Arizona
If you purchase long-term care insurance in Arizona and pair with the partnership program, you must buy a policy with inflation protection built in.
If you do use up all of your long-term care insurance and then Medicaid pays for your care, Arizona will not go after your estate to collect the money they spent on you.
If you bought your policy in another state that has a partnership program, you will enjoy the same benefits in Arizona. The opposite is also true—consumers who purchase a policy in Arizona and then move to another state with a partnership program will not lose their asset protection.
Arizona’s long-term partnership policies are tax-qualified, meaning a portion of the premiums are tax-deductible.
Arizona is a great place to retire, and the fact that the state has a partnership program makes it an even better deal for seniors who want to hold onto their assets. Just be sure you buy long-term care insurance or hybrid insurance while you are healthy so you qualify.