Skilled Care in Long-Term Care: What You Need to Know

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

If you or a loved one is in need of skilled care in long-term care, it’s important to understand what that means and what to expect. Skilled care is provided by nurses and other healthcare professionals who are specially trained to meet the needs of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. In this guide, we will discuss the types of skilled care that are available, as well as what you need to know before making a decision about long-term care.

What is Skilled Care?

Non-hospital-based skilled nursing facilities provide skilled care. It is continuous medical care that is not provided in a hospital. That is, it necessitates the availability of round-the-clock nursing by RNs, LVNs, or LPNs as well as at least one supervising RN on duty at all times.

Nursing care, therapy, and rehabilitation are all types of skilled care. This is a high degree of nursing and medical attention for those whose health conditions need constant monitoring. SNFs also provide custodial care for the patients who reside there.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing facilities are a type of care that necessitates the regular input of physicians and skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff. Many elderly or disabled individuals require expert nursing treatment and long-term assistance.

Skilled nursing facilities may give rehabilitation, other medical solutions, personal attention, meals, and leisure in a supervised and secure environment.

The need for custodial care (such as assistance with activities of daily living) does not alone qualify someone for skilled nursing facility care. If the patient qualifies for coverage based on a requirement for trained nursing or rehabilitation, their custodial and personal care requirements will be met.

Wht Services Do Skilled Nursing Facilities Include?

Many elderly or disabled individuals require expert nursing care and substantial, long-term aid. Rehabilitation and other medical treatments, personal attention, meals, and leisure may all be offered by skilled nursing facilities. SNF Service examples include:

  • clinical oversight
  • venipuncture or blood draws
  • intravenous (IV) injections
  • wound care and monitoring of skin conditions
  • diabetic management
  • catheter care
  • physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • observation and assessment of patients’ changing conditions
  • a change in treatment and care based on changes in condition
  • tube feedings
  • ongoing assessment of rehabilitation needs and potential
  • therapeutic exercises or activities
  • ambulation (walking) programs

The need for custodial care does not, in and of itself, entitle someone to skilled nursing facility care. If the patient’s custodial and personal care needs are met through coverage based on the need for skilled nursing or rehabilitation, their custodial and personal care requirements will be addressed.

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
services
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
facilities
Skilled nursing facilities
DurationUsually long-termUsually short- to mid-termUsually short-term

How Much Does Skilled Care Cost?

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

  • Nursing Home Semi-Private Room: $93,075
  • Nursing Home Private Room: $105,850

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

long-term care annuity is a hybrid annuity that is set up to assist in paying for skilled 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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