At Boca Home Care Services, we serve numerous clients with long-term care insurance policies, which often provide coverage for personal care and household assistance following a fall, accident, illness or surgery. Clients often call us in need of support upon returning home from hospitalization or a rehabilitation stay, a stressful and busy time to pull out and review policy documents that may be decades old.
Over time, people tend to forget the specific terms of their insurance policies and these details fade. It’s not uncommon for individuals to overlook their policy’s “Elimination Period,” which likely helped lower their premium payments. However, this means that home health care coverage doesn’t begin immediately; it only starts after the elimination period is met, similar to a deductible on a health insurance policy.
Elimination Periods can range from a few days to a few weeks or even months. If a client require live-in or substantial home health care services, the costs can quickly reach thousands of dollars – an unpleasant surprise if the client has forgotten about this period.
Boca Home Care Services advises you to familiarize yourself with your long-term care insurance policy before you need to use it. Contact your agent or insurance company to review the terms of your coverage. If your policy includes an elimination period, refresh yourself on what it is and plan accordingly. Some suggestions to consider include setting funds aside to cover out-of-pocket expenses for care during the elimination period and/or creating a plan with family, neighbors and friends to determine who can help with specific tasks if and as needed. If friends or family members can assist with shopping, cooking, and transportation to appointments, you may only need a home health aide for personal care, such as bathing, dressing, respite time, and laundry. By minimizing the hours required from an aide during the elimination period, you can manage costs more effectively. Similarly, getting through your elimination period when you only need minimal at-home care will set you up for full coverage should you need more help later on.
Additionally, some policies count days in a rehabilitation facility and Medicare home health visits towards the elimination period. Switching from another home health agency or nurse registry does not generally trigger another elimination period. Discuss these possibilities with your insurer and inquire about the necessary paperwork to have these rehab and Medicare visits counted. We have helped countless clients over the years qualify for their elimination period being marked as complete based on these allowances and thereby avoid additional out-of-pocket expenses.
More generally, Boca Home Care Services specializes in assisting long-term care insurance policy holders, offering expert consultation to individuals who need help understanding their complex policies. Our experienced professionals can contact your insurance provider on your behalf, handle all claims paperwork, and help extract the most value from your long-term care insurance policy. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we can help you navigate your long-term home health care options and insurance benefits.