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The Real Value of a Life Care Contract

One cannot plan for the unexpected. – Aaron Klug

 People who are interested in Life Plan communities may have questions about the need for a Life Care contract. When you consider a move to an independent living community, you may be more focused on the amenities and activities to keep you active, healthy, and happy to simplify and enrich your life. What happens if you need a higher level of care, even for a short period of time, tends to take a back seat to the here and now.

Most people recognize the need for a safety net of protection when health needs or level of care change. A Life Care contract is more than an insurance policy if your health should change; it provides the support and guidance of our professional staff to assist in advocating for you and your loved one. One of our residents asked us to share his experience to illustrate how his Life Care contract is priceless to him and his wife. This is their story.

When the Unexpected Happens

 John and Mary Smith* moved to Galloway Ridge about four years ago and settled in easily. They were interested in the many activities offered as well as the sense of community enjoyed by the residents; they both found that adjusting to independent living was easier than they expected it to be. The Smiths maintained their active life and spent time with the many friends they made at Galloway Ridge. They had signed a Life Care contract before their move, but they assumed they would not need for several years down the road.

Unfortunately, Mary experienced a medical problem that resulted in a hospital stay. She was inpatient long enough to be covered under Medicare Part A, and after coordination with the social workers at the hospital and Galloway Ridge, she was transferred to the Arbor for what was expected to be a brief skilled nursing care stay until her health improved. The Smiths were relieved to know that they would not have any additional expenses for her stay because of her Medicare coverage and Life Care contract.

From Bad to Worse

 While Mary was recuperating, she developed a complication that required her again to be admitted to the hospital. She responded to her additional treatment, which was great news to her and her husband. The medical team thought she could return to the Arbor to complete her rehabilitation, but this time, she was not considered eligible for Medicare Part A coverage because she had improved and no longer qualified for skilled nursing care.

Typically, in this circumstance, the patient would be responsible for any level of care not covered by Medicare Part A, which could be a large financial burden on the patient or the family. But the Smiths had a Life Care contract, which meant they had planned for the unforeseen. Mary could return to the Arbor without the added stress of how to pay out of pocket for the majority of her care. She also did not have to worry about the possibility of losing her space because she was already part of the Life Plan Community.  She continued to recover in the comfort of familiar surroundings with the support of caring staff and loving friends to help her along.

“You’re Well Until You’re Not”

 John was relieved that his wife’s health improved and that he could visit her any time he wanted because she was at the same community. What he and Mary appreciate even more than the convenience of their community is the support and advocacy they received from the Galloway Ridge staff. Coordinating care and navigating the complex and confusing Medicare system is more than most seniors and their families can handle on their own, but the Smiths could rely on their community’s professionals to take the lead and help them with practical advice when it was needed most.

Peace of mind is one of the many benefits you have with a Life Care contract, which is only available in this area through Galloway Ridge. John and Mary Smith understand its value in a very personal way, and they want to share their story with anyone who is unsure of how this contract can protect seniors. To learn more about Life Care contracts, please contact the staff at Galloway Ridge or visit our website.

*Names changed to protect resident privacy