California Long Term Care Insurance
This page covers important long-term care information for residents of California, including the average cost of long-term care (LTC), the costs of LTC insurance, popular companies offering LTC insurance in the state, and information about the California Partnership for Long-Term Care and Medi-Cal.
Paying for Long-Term Care
Long-term care is expensive, and the costs associated with it can add up quickly. It is important to keep these costs in mind as you plan for your future long-term care needs, even if you don’t end up purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. To help give you a better idea of the expenses you may face, below we have listed the average prices for some commonly used long-term care services in California.
Average Costs for Common Long-Term Care Services in California:
- Nursing Home (private room): $319 (Daily)
- Nursing Home (semi-private room): $267 (Daily)
- Assisted Living Facility (private room): $4,275 (Monthly)
- Home Health Aide (X hours/week): $20 (Hourly)
The Costs of Long-Term Care Insurance
The cost of long-term care insurance is impacted by several factors and can vary greatly from policy to policy and person to person. How much you pay will change depending on the amount of coverage you select, the maximum amount of benefit the policy will pay per day, the maximum number of years (typically measured in days) that the policy will pay out, and the total amount that will be available through the policy. The length of the elimination period and the types of services covered by the policy will also influence the cost, as will optional extras such as inflation protection. Other, less-obvious factors can play into a policy’s cost as well. To learn more, please see our article on the subject.
- Average Yearly Premium for an LTC Insurance Policy in California: $
- Average Daily LTC Benefit Purchased in California: $165 (per day)
State Partnership Program
Partnership programs are three-way collaborations between the state, the federal Medicaid program, and long-term care insurance companies. California’s version was established in 1992 and is known as the California Partnership for Long-Term Care. Policies issued as part of the program are required to meet certain federal and state standards. These policies also offer Medi-Cal Asset Protection, which helps protect your assets from the spend-down requirements of Medi-Cal by allowing you to qualify for coverage with a larger-than-normal amount of assets. The specific amount typically varies based on the total benefits paid out by your policy.
Rates for policies qualifying under this program do not differ significantly from those of non-qualified policies offering similar benefits. However, the regulations and requirements that must be met for a policy to qualify under this program also mean that these policies have less flexibility than many non-partnership policies. For instance, to qualify under this program, a policy must be tax-qualified, include 5% inflation protection, and have a minimum daily benefit of $180. It should also be noted that not all insurance companies participate in this program, so deciding to purchase a partnership policy will also limit your choices in that regard. Because of this, it is a good idea to shop around and look at non-partnership policies in addition to those that qualify under the program so you can be sure that you have chosen the best policy for your needs and budget.
Most states with partnership programs will offer what is known as reciprocity, meaning that they will honor the asset protection offered by partnership policies purchased in other states. California is currently the only state whose partnership program does not offer reciprocity with other partnership programs. This means that if you purchase a partnership policy in another state and then move to California, you will lose your asset protection. The same will happen if you purchase a partnership policy in California and then move to a different state.
If you can’t afford a long-term care insurance policy or your coverage window ends but you still require care, Medi-Cal is a viable option. Medi-Cal is a combined federal and state program for people with lower incomes. It can be used to cover a variety of long-term care services, including nursing homes, medical equipment, doctor’s visits, dental care, and more. However, it is worth noting that not all services are covered under Medi-Cal, so your options are more limited with this program than with something like long-term care insurance. Medi-Cal is a need-based program, and there are financial and health requirements that must be met in order to qualify. Applications typically take 2-3 months to process.
Companies Offering Long-Term Care Insurance in California
California residents have a variety of long-term care companies and policies to choose from. Popular long-term care insurance companies in this state include Mutual of Omaha, MassMutual, TransAmerica, Genworth, and New York Life. Please take a look at our articles on these insurance companies and others to learn more about their histories, reputations, financial strength, and the policies they offer.
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