Intermediate Care in Long-Term Care: The Next Level of Nursing Home Care

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

If you are looking for the next level of nursing home care for a loved one, then look into intermediate care. This type of care is perfect for those who are no longer able to live independently but do not yet require the full-time care of a nursing home. At an intermediate care facility, patients receive around-the-clock supervision and assistance with activities of daily living. Here, they can enjoy all the benefits of a nursing home without having to give up their independence.

What is Intermediate Care?

Intermediate care is given under a doctor’s supervision, but it is not considered to be continuously medically necessary. Skilled practitioners provide nursing and rehabilitation care that is required only occasionally or part-time and is done under the direction of a physician.

Individuals with a degenerative illness may require intermediate care at first, but as their condition deteriorates, they may need full-time professional assistance (skilled care). Depending on the condition and the patient’s overall health, intermediate treatment may be given in a home or facility.

Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF)

Intermediate care facilities (ICFs) are set up specifically to provide care for deteriorating conditions and usually exist within a larger skilled nursing facility rather than as stand-alone facilities. ICFs are designed for those with less chronic issues than skilled nursing homes and generally offer less nursing care than a Skilled Nursing Facility. Intermediate care is a hybrid of custodial care (personal services) and nursing care.

Intermediate care facilities are provided in:

  • Home
  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities

Types Of Long-Term Care At A Glance

Custodial CareIntermediate CareSkilled Care
PurposeAssistance with ADLs to
maintain current status and
to meet current needs
Rehabilitative or restorative
Medically necessary nursing care, therapy, or rehabilitation
FrequencyPeriodically or dailyIntermittently or periodicallyDaily
Provided ByFamily, friends, health aidesPhysicians, nurses, licensed therapistsPhysicians, nurses, licensed therapists
Provided InHome, community care centers, skilled nursing facilitiesHome, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilitiesSkilled nursing facilities
DurationUsually long-termUsually short- to mid-termUsually short-term

How Much Does Intermediate Care Cost?

According to Genworth, the annual median cost for intermediate long-term care in 2020 is:

How To Pay For Intermediate Care At A Fraction Of The Cost

long-term care annuity is a hybrid annuity that is set up to assist in paying for intermedial care without causing retirement funds to be depleted. To create a tax-free long-Term Care Insurance benefit, an LTC annuity doubles (200%) or triples (300%) the investment (based on medical records). If there is money in the annuity, it passes along a death benefit to beneficiaries.

If you don’t have a lump sum of money lying around, another great option is a long-term care life insurance policy (LTCi). In simple terms, these policies are designed specifically for long-term care and allow the insured to access the life insurance’s death benefit while alive to pay for LTC costs. Applicants can pay a fixed premium monthly or annually instead of a one-time deposit.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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