Right now, the average American’s chances of spending
two-and-a-half years in a nursing home are one in three. In Atlanta,
the average annual cost for a nursing home is about $47,500.
Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time and at any age. In
fact, about 40 percent of people needing long-term care are between
the ages 18 and 64. If you needed long-term care and planned to
rely on health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid to cover your costs,
be aware that these plans do not cover many long-term care costs,
so your assets could disappear quickly, along with your ability
to make choices and maintain control over your life.
In 2003, Emory will offer a new long-term care policy, so now is
an excellent time to consider the possible need for long-term care
and the impact it can have on a family’s financial security.
Long-term care insurance is designed specifically to help protect
employees and their loved ones from the financial burden of nursing
homes, assisted living facilities and home health care.
If you are a regular University employee or rehired retiree working
20 hours or more a week, you and your family members between the
ages of 18 and 80 can enroll in long-term care insurance. Emory
retirees also can participate. Family members include spouses, adult
children, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law.
Due to state regulations, same-sex domestic partners are not eligible
for this group policy. However, individual long- term care policies
are available from many insurance companies.
Employees who sign up for a policy during Open Enrollment (Oct.
21–Nov. 8) are guaranteed coverage without completing a medical
questionnaire for benefits up to $4,000 for a six-year duration.
Those who wait until later or buy $5,000, $6,000 or an unlimited
duration period will have to go through medical underwriting and
are not guaranteed coverage.
Family members are subject to completing a medical questionnaire
regardless of the benefit amount they choose. Emory retirees must
also complete a medical questionnaire.
Cost for long-term care insurance depends on the individual’s
age on the plan’s effective date and the plan and/or options
chosen. The younger you are when you purchase the insurance, the
lower the cost, and rates will not increase as you grow older. If
you change employers or retire, you can still keep your coverage
at an affordable group rate.
Premiums for employees and their spouses will be handled through
payroll deductions. Other family members will be responsible for
paying for their own policies and will be billed directly by UnumProvident.
Call the benefits department at 404-727-7613 to request an enrollment
kit for you and your spouse, or visit one of the Open Enrollment
meetings. For enrollment kits for other family members, call UnumProvident
When considering the plan that is best for you, ask yourself:
• Where do I want to receive care?
• How much money will I need for care?
• How long do I want the care to last?
Emory’s new group plan, provided by UnumProvident, allows
for various levels of care, including long-term care facilities/nursing
homes, assisted-living facilities and professional home care. Your
policy would provide benefits when a physician certifies that you
have lost the ability, for a period of 90 days, to perform at least
two of six activities of daily living: toileting, transferring,
bathing, dressing, eating and continence.
You can choose a long-term care/nursing home monthly benefit from
$1,000 to $6,000. The assisted-living facility or professional home
care benefit would be 75 percent of the long-term care facility
monthly benefit. You can also choose a facility benefit duration
of three, six or unlimited years. If you choose unlimited years
and/or a monthly benefit of $5,000 or $6,000, you will need to complete
a medical questionnaire. There also is an option to purchase inflation
protection, whereby the monthly benefit amount will increase 5 percent
Enrollees in the plan will have to wait 60 days before the benefits
become payable. This 60-day “elimination period” will
be incurred only once during the life of the plan.
For general information about long-term care, visit AARP’s
website at www.aarp.org.
For more information about Emory’s long-term care insurance,
check out the UnumProvident web site at www.unum.com
or call its long-term care services at 1-800-227-4165. Information
also is available at Open Enrollment meetings.