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Long term care is a term that means different things to different persons. Some people assume it means care in a nursing home, but the term can encompass a full range of social services, personal services and medical services. Individuals, as they advance in age, or develop disabilities may need long term care. Such services can be provided in the home, a community center, a rehabilitation facility, assisted living, or a skilled nursing facility.

It is highly encouraged that planning for long term care take place well prior to the need. This page is a way to identify key parts of what you should know when planning for you or your loved one’s care as they deal with age and/or disabilities.

As you plan for long term care needs, you may be advised to consider long term care insurance as a means to pay for the cost of long term care, since Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long term care. Some consumer information related to this is below:

Elder Update- November/December 2013 (pdf)
Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs provides a consumer-friendly newspaper, The Elder Update. The link provides a recent article written for the Elder Update regarding questions and answers on long term care insurance.

A Guide for Consumers: Long Term Care (pdf)
This Guide, put out by the Florida Department of Financial Services, discusses what is long term care; what is long term care insurance and factors to consider before purchasing such insurance; what are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) and how to select one; and medical privacy and insurance fraud.

A Shopper’s Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance (2013)
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners and The Center for Insurance Policy and Research offers a consumer guide that provides guidelines in a consumer-friendly, easy-to-read format. The guide includes an overview of long-term care insurance, as well as payment and purchasing options, worksheets, shopping tips and the various policy and benefit plans available. Consumers interested in this guide can order one free copy at the bottom of the page of the link.

Florida’s Long-Term Care Partnership Program (pdf)
The information contained in this resource is provided by Florida’s SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. The Long Term Care Partnership Program is the outgrowth of legislation in 2006 offering a senior protection bill that provides reforms to making long term care insurance affordable and available. It encourages persons to purchase long term care insurance as a means of financing their long term care, rather than turning to Medicaid.

Long-Term Care Insurance Self-Assessment Guide
Florida’s SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program provides this guide as a resource in decision-making for long term care. The self-assessment guide leads you through questions and issues that include: your risk of needing long-term care; financial considerations; and long-term care insurance benefits to consider.