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Help Protect Your Family with the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
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Planning Ahead for Long Term Care

Note: This article has been revised on 06-17-13 to show updated rates from John Hancock's 2011 Cost of Care Survey. The orginal version dated 02-01-11 showed rates from John Hancock's 2008 Cost of Care Survey.

Thanks to modern medicine, we are living longer than ever before. But with a longer life comes an increased likelihood of disability, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease), which may spur the need for ongoing help with the most basic activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing, or getting in and out of bed or a chair. Assistance with these types of activities is known as long term care.

One common misconception about long term care is that it is primarily nursing home care. Actually, most long term care recipients receive assistance at home from a family member, friend, or professional home health aide. Long term care is also available within the community at adult day care centers. Additionally, assisted living is available for those who can no longer live at home, but need only a limited amount of support.

Because of the wide array of care options, we have a great deal of freedom when it comes to creating the best plan of care for our needs. Unfortunately, few plan ahead and save enough money to pay for the services that they need or want, which may limit their options. Planning for long term care is unpleasant — it is not something that we want to think about. But considering the high costs of care, planning ahead is essential in assuring as many options as possible if the need arises.

The cost of long term care can be measured in two ways:

In dollars paid 3

  • The average cost of a home health aide has risen to $20 per hour. Six hours of care five days a week costs roughly $2,600 a month, or $31,200 a year.
  • The national average for assisted living is $3,270 a month, or $39,240 annually.
  • The national average for a semiprivate room in a nursing home is approximately $6,296 a month, or $75,555 annually.

In the toll on family caregivers

While having friends and family provide care can ease the financial burden for the care recipient, this type of care still has its costs. Without support or assistance, these caregivers can suffer from depression, lost wages, physical injury, and disrupted personal relationships. Many are pulled in two directions, caring for both their children and their parents, which can be an incredible challenge.

So what can you do about it? First, recognize the potential for long term care needs and research how the cost of care could impact your future income and savings. Next, research payment options. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information at and the long term care tools at can be excellent resources for information about paying for long term care.

Many people have found that long term care insurance can offer the financial protection they need to be able to face the future with confidence. The best time to consider long term care insurance is long before you need it, so it is a good idea to research this option sooner rather than later, as the younger you are when you apply for coverage, the less expensive your premiums will be. And, waiting not only means a higher premium, it also means that you will be at greater risk of developing health problems that may prevent you from qualifying for coverage at a later date.

About the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

Established by an act of Congress in 2000 and overseen by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) is designed to meet the specific needs of the Federal family. * The FLTCIP provides industry-leading benefits and offers flexible options that allow enrollees to tailor coverage to meet their needs.

To learn more about the FLTCIP's features and benefits, visit, or call us at 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337) TTY 1-800-843-3557. A certified long term care insurance consultant will speak with you about your particular situation, your coverage options, and the application process, and of course will answer any questions you may have.

* Certain medical conditions, or combinations of conditions, will prevent some people from being approved for coverage. You need to apply to find out if you are eligible for this coverage.

3 John Hancock Life Insurance Company, John Hancock 2013 Cost of Care Survey, June 2013. (Note: John Hancock's Cost of Care Survey is updated every three years.)


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Apply Today!

Federal family members can apply for coverage anytime—you do not have to wait for the next open season. Premiums are based on your age and the premium rates in effect at the time we receive your application—the younger you are when you apply, the lower your premium will be.

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