Glossary beginning with L

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Approval from a local or state health department to operate as a healthcare provider in that state. Facilities may be licensed as Skilled Nursing Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities, Home Health Agencies, or under a variety of other licensure types. Individuals may be licensed as physicians, nurses, certified nurse aides, therapists, or pharmacists. Provider types and licensure requirements vary greatly from state to state.

Life Care

A promise to provide care for the resident for the rest of his or her life, in exchange for a significant up-front payment. Once popular offerings of Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Life Care Contracts are less common now because of the significant risk to the issuer. However, older communities may still be obligated on contracts entered into in earlier years.

Long Term Care

Widely-used terminology to describe care provided for people who need assistance or care on a long term basis, as opposed to the short term of a hospital stay or acute illness. An umbrella term for Skilled Care, Intermediate Care, Personal Care, Home Care, Adult Day Care, Respite Care, and other types of non-acute care. Long term care is often provided for people with chronic illnesses, physical or mental disabilities, or problems with activities of daily living, all of which generally lead to the need for life-long assistance once they occur. In some states, some long term care services may be coverable under Medicaid. Medicare generally does not cover the cost of non-acute long term care services.

Long Term Care Facility

Terminology used to refer to licensed care facilities other than nursing homes. They might include an Assisted Living Facility, an Alzheimer's facility, a Christian Science setting, a Hospice facility, a Personal Care Home, a Residential Care Facility, an Adult Foster Home, a Domiciliary Care Facility, or an Adult Congregate Care Facility. Terminology and licensing requirements vary widely by region.

Long Term Care Insurance

Insurance which provides a benefit for nursing home stays or other long term care services. Benefits and qualifying services vary considerably from policy to policy, however all policies cover at least some stays in a licensed nursing home. Some, but not all, policies cover other non-acute services, such as stays in assisted living facilities or home care services. Premiums may be tax-deductible and benefits may be exempt from income tax for qualified plans. Some states have special programs that allow recipients to qualify for Medicaid after using their own private long term care insurance benefits for some period of time, without requiring them to spend all their assets down to the level usually required for Medicaid eligibility.

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