This article is sponsored by the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.
Long term care isn’t something most people think about in the here and now. But the reality is, many of us or someone in our family will need it in our lifetime. Long term care can range from help with simple tasks to physical and cognitive assistance.
It’s important to know that Medicare, TRICARE, TRICARE For Life, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program are only intended to cover skilled, short term medical care as you recover from an illness or injury.
Additionally, the long term care benefits offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are tied to specific triggers, including service-connected disability, available funding, and your personal ability to contribute to the cost of care.
In short that means long term care can be expensive, and service members often rely on the VA to cover the associated costs, but depending on your eligibility status in the VA program, the level of coverage available to you may not be enough.
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) is a good option to bridge that gap. Sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the FLTCIP was established in 2002 as a result of an act of Congress called the Long-Term Care Security Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-265). Since then, the FLTCIP has offered active and retired members of the uniformed services the opportunity to help take control of their future long term care needs. Certain family members, or qualified relatives such as your spouse, domestic partner, parents and parents-in-law, and adult children, are also eligible to apply.
Here’s how it works: the FLTCIP is designed to reimburse you for qualified long term care services. And it offers coverage in a variety of settings—be it at home or in a facility—and takes into account where your caregiver prefers to provide care. In fact the stay-at-home-benefit includes informal care provided by friends and family members as long as they do not live with you at the time you become eligible for coverage and as long as it does not exceed 500 days.
Premiums are based on your age, so the younger you are when you apply, the lower your premiums will be. Of the 268,000 federal family members enrolled in the FLTCIP, more than 50% started their coverage before age 55.
So while long term care may not be top of mind right now, it’s important to think about what choices you may need to make for yourself or your family now, in order to access those benefits when you need them. By applying for the FLTCIP before you need care, you can help prepare for the unexpected.
Visit LTCFEDS.com/militaryfamily for details about services covered under this group policy to better understand your long term care insurance options and which FLTCIP plan may be right for you.
For personalized assistance, call 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337) TTY 1-800-843-3557 to speak with a program consultant. They are available to answer any questions you may have and can walk you step-by-step through the plan design and application process.