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Understanding Long Term Care Terminology

As you reach the age of retirement and the post-retirement years, it may become necessary to consider long term health care. You will have to read and comprehend policies and other documents that discuss long term care. As in many sectors of life, long term care has its own language with terminology that the average lay person won't understand. Below, is a list of some of the more relevant but confusing terms.

With the subsequent self-education necessary to decipher the language, you will have to eventually decide between living at home with assisted living or in a facility with similar options.

Long Term Care Insurance- Do the Research

Before you actually reach the point where you require long term care in your home or in a facility, it's important that you do your due diligence in researching for an insurance policy that will help you meet your expenses. If you have a life or health insurance policy, ask your agent if his agency provides that. Then, with a quote for their costs and benefits, do your research to try and find a better policy that might be available. If you know somebody who's in a long term care situation, ask them for their advice.

Not every policy is the same; different benefits and options exist for different scenarios. An assisted living situation at home will differ from assisted living in a retirement community. In order to intelligently decide which way you want to go with long term health care, should you or a loved one need it, here is a list of some of the more important and unusual terms you may need to understand.

  • Accelerated Death Benefit - Some polices will allow the policy holder to take payment of their death benefit payment while they're still alive. This benefit allows the holder to use that money for long term care expenses.
  • Certificate of Medical Necessity - A formal document signed by a physician certifying a patient's need for devices like a walker or wheelchair, for example.
  • Co-morbidities - More than one disease process occurring at the same time.
  • Companion Care - Services of a non-medical nature like grooming, cooking and the such being provided in a patient's home.
  • CVA - Cerebrovascular accident or stroke - What the brain suffers because of a lack of blood circulation to a portion of the brain.
  • Diagnostic Related Groups - Used to determine how much Medicaid will reimburse a hospital for in-patient services.
  • DPHC - Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care - The document that allows another person to make decisions about your care if you're unable to.
  • Fiscal Intermediary - Private Health Insurance Company that handles and processes claims for Medicare Part A.
  • Free Look Period - Within 30 days of purchasing a policy, you can cancel for a full refund.
  • Indemnity Benefit - Money paid to you, not your service provider.

Consult with your regular family physician for references to reliable resources for assistance in locating long term care providers. He or she may even provide health care services in one.

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