Do you have a loved who needs assistance with daily routines, such as bathing or eating, due to either a physical or mental impairment? Are you prepared if this were to become a reality in your life in the future – either for yourself or a loved one? Long-term care is here to help an individual due to an injury, illness, mental deterioration or advancing age. Long-term care is not only for the elderly; it can help you when an unexpected accident or illness arises.
MSU offers long-term care insurance as an optional benefit to eligible MSU employees. If you are an eligible faculty, academic staff, executive management, or support staff member, you are eligible. Your spouse, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, adult children, and sibling (referred to as other eligible individuals (OEI) under the plan) are eligible as well.
Long-term care insurance is offered through Transamerica, and you can enroll anytime during the year through MSU Benefits Plus. Not sure what options to choose? You can consult with specialists from the Todd Benefits Group, a third-party firm specializing in long-term-care benefits, to help you select the Transamerica options that best meet your needs.
Here are some most frequently asked questions about long-term care:
How do I or one of my OEIs qualify for long-term care coverage?
First, a licensed health care practitioner needs to provide a plan of care and certify that within the last 12 months you/your OEI are unable to perform two out of six activities of daily living or have a severe cognitive impairment that requires substantial supervision, you are eligible to start receiving long-term care benefits. These activities include bathing, maintaining continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.
How do I determine how much long-term care coverage to get?
Policies have a daily benefit amount and a lifetime benefit amount. The daily benefit amount is the amount the insurance company will reimburse you for each day of qualified care received. The lifetime benefit amount is the total amount available to cover the cost of long-term care services.
Factors to consider when deciding how much to purchase include:
- Cost of care in your area of residence or where you plan to live in retirement
- Other sources of income or how much you can afford to self-insure
It’s best to consult the Todd Benefits Group for assistance in deciding.
Does long-term care only include out-of-home care or in-home care?
Long-term care includes Home Care, Home Health Care, Adult Day Care and Hospice Care.
What if I wish to remain at home but still require long-term care?
a. Long-term care insurance called TransCare II includes a Cash Benefit which, once you qualify for benefits, you can choose to receive your benefit payments in an amount equal to 10 times the maximum daily benefit each month. You can use this money in any way you see fit and it gives you freedom of choice to pay a family member for care, for example.
b. The Remain at Home Benefit can further assist with challenges you may face when you wish to stay in your home. For example, this benefit can be used to pay for the following qualified long-term care services:
i. Home modification (ramps, grab bars, etc.)
ii.Caregiver training for informal caregivers (such as a family member)
iii. Therapeutic device or technology (i.e., crutches, wheelchairs, hospital-style beds)
iv. Medical Alert System (rental or purchase of systems to monitor health)
How much does it cost?
Premium rates vary depending on the coverage you select. Contact the Todd Benefits Group to determine what coverage is best for you. There’s also a Premium Calculator on their MSU website portal which allows you to review some coverage options, as well as create your own custom plan and see immediate premium quotes.
Are there any discounts available?
- A 5% discount for all (including family members) who qualify for coverage.
- Married/Partner* discount of 15% if only one spouse applies (if you have a spouse/partner).
- Spousal/Partner* discount of 30% if both apply (with identical coverage) and are approved.
- Preferred discount of 10% if you qualify medically.
*This includes OEIs.
What happens to my policy when I retire or change employment?
Coverage is provided under an individual long-term care policy, which means nothing changes if you retire or change jobs. Benefits and discounts are permanent.
What happens if I never use my long-term care policy?
In the event you do not utilize your policy, there is a return of premium to age 67. If you pass away before age 67, TransAmerica will pay a lump sum benefit to your beneficiary or estate totaling the sum of all premiums paid less the amount of any claims.
Still not sure if you or your OEIs are eligible? First, review your respective policy: Faculty & Academic Staff; Support Staff. You can also learn more about more about long-term care insurance on the HR website or request more information from Todd Benefits Group at 1-888-310-8633. Visit MSU Benefits Plus to enroll and learn about enrollment options.
Information in this blog post was provided in part by the Todd Benefits Group and Pacific Resources, MSU’s voluntary benefits administrator.