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This glossary includes terms that are used at some place in the web content for the Own Your Future website.

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Accelerated Death Benefit Feature of a life insurance policy that lets you use some of the policy's death benefit prior to death.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Everyday, basic activities that most people must do as a necessity of living: bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (moving to and from a bed or a chair), eating, and caring for incontinence. A person's need for help with these activities or inability to perform them is used as a means of determining eligibility for public programs such as Medicaid reimbursed long-term care services. Also, many long-term care insurance policies use the inability to do a certain number of activities of daily living as criteria for paying benefits.

Acute Condition Condition that has a sudden onset or lasts for a short period of time.

Adult Foster Care 24-hour living arrangement with supervision for people who are unable to continue living independently in their own homes because of physical, mental, or emotional limitations. Those who provide adult foster care services live in the same household with residents and share a common living area.

Advance Care Planning Planning that one does to lay out your wishes and specify what kind of care you would like at the end of your life or if you become permanently unconscious or are otherwise unable to speak for yourself. It also includes other aspects of health care you prefer under such circumstances.

Advance Care Directive Legal document that specifies whether you would like artificial life support if you become permanently unconscious or are otherwise unable to speak for yourself. It also specifies other aspects of health care you prefer under such circumstances. It is sometimes called a health care directive or living will. In Minnesota, the recommended form is the health care directive. This has taken the place of the living will.

Alzheimer's Disease Progressive, degenerative form of dementia that causes severe intellectual deterioration; first symptoms are impaired memory, which is followed by impaired thought and speech.

Annuity Contract Sold by an insurance company - that provides the buyer or a designated party a series of regular payments over a specified and defined period of time.

Assisted Living Facility Residential living arrangement that provides individualized personal care, assistance with Activities of Daily Living, help with medications, and services such as laundry and housekeeping. Many facilities also provide some health and medical care, but generally the care is not as intensive as the care offered at a nursing home. The types and sizes of facilities vary; they can range from a small home to a large apartment-style complex. They also vary in the levels of care and services that can be provided. Assisted living facilities provide a way for people to retain an independent lifestyle, and they are for individuals who do not necessarily need the level of care provided by nursing homes.


Benefits Money paid by an insurance company to a policyholder or to a care provider for services covered by the insurance policy.

Benefit Triggers The criteria and methods insurance companies use to determine when you are eligible to receive benefits.


Caregiver Person who provides care to someone who is elderly, has a disability or illness, and lives at home. This person can be a family member, partner, friend, neighbor or volunteer. The caregiver can be paid or unpaid and provide care in the home or community.

Chore Services Help with general household activities such as meal preparation, routine household care, and heavy household chores such as washing floors and windows, or lawn maintenance.

Chronic Condition Long-lasting or recurrent condition that causes a person to need help with activities of daily living and often other health and support services. Examples include Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. At a minimum, the condition is expected to last for at least 90 consecutive days. This term is used in a tax-qualified long-term care insurance policy to describe a person who needs long-term care because of an inability to do a certain number of activities of daily living without help or because of a severe cognitive impairment.

Cognitive Impairment Deficiency in certain functions of the brain - short or long-term memory; orientation to person, place, and time; deductive or abstract reasoning; or judgment as it relates to safety awareness. An example of a cognitive impairment is Alzheimer's disease.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) Retirement complex that offers a range of services and levels of care. Residents generally move first into an independent living unit-a private apartment or house-on the campus. The CCRC provides social and housing-related services and generally also has an assisted living unit and an on-site or affiliated nursing home. If and when residents can no longer live independently in their apartment or home and require additional care, they generally move into either assisted living or the CCRCs nursing home.


Daily Maximum Specified dollar amount that is the maximum a long-term care insurance policy will pay per day for covered services. Policies may pay the full daily maximum regardless of the cost of care, or, more typically, may pay a percent of actual expenses up to the specified daily maximum amount. Some policies specify a single Daily Maximum for all covered services (e.g., nursing home care, assisted living facility, home care) and other policies have one Daily Maximum for nursing home care and a lower amount (often 50% - 75% of the nursing home amount) for other covered services.

Dementia Disorder of the brain that can result in deterioration of intellectual and cognitive abilities beyond what might be expected from normal aging.

Diabetes Lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood.

Disability Insurance Form of health insurance that provides payments to replace a portion of lost income when the person who is insured is not able to work because of sickness or injury.


Elimination Period Length of time the individual must pay for covered services or be disabled before the insurance company will begin to make payments.


Financial Advisor People that deal specifically with investing and providing advice to their clients on their investment decisions. They give financial advice on how to best invest money in accordance with the client's financial plan.

Financial Planner People that typically help their clients create a financial plan for their future. The kinds of services financial planners offer can vary widely. Some financial planners assess every aspect of their client's financial life-including saving, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning-and help them develop a detailed strategy for meeting all their financial goals.


Health Care Directive Legal document that specifies whether you would like artificial life support if you become permanently unconscious or are otherwise unable to speak for yourself. It also specifies other aspects of health care you prefer under such circumstances. It is sometimes called an Advance Care Directive or Living Will. In Minnesota, this is the recommended form.

Heart Disease A broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart. The various diseases that fall under the umbrella of heart disease include diseases of your blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); heart infections; and heart defects you're born with (congenital heart defects).

Home Equity The current market value of a home minus any amount you owe on the property through mortgages or loans.


Inflation Protection Feature of a long-term care insurance policy by which benefits increase over time to help offset future increases in service costs. There are many different ways that these inflation protection provisions can be structured.


Lifetime Maximum The total amount of money the insurance company will pay for the entire time you have coverage under that plan. Once you reach that amount, your plan will not pay for any more of your expenses.

Long-term Care Variety of services and supports to meet health or personal care needs over an extended period of time.

Long-term Care Insurance Specific type of insurance policy designed to offer financial support to pay for necessary long-term care services.


Medicaid (called Medical Assistance or MA in Minnesota) Joint federal and state program for financing health care for low-income individuals and families. It is jointly financed and administered by the federal, state and local governments. It pays for health care services for those with low incomes or very high medical bills relative to income and assets. It is the largest public payer of long-term care services provided to those that meet both financial and functional eligibility criteria.

Medicare Federal program organized under Title XVIII of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, it provides hospital and medical expense benefits for those individuals over age 65 or those meeting specific disability standards. Benefits for nursing home and home health services are very limited.


Nursing Home Licensed facility that provides general nursing care to those who are chronically ill and unable to perform essential activities of daily living without regular assistance.


Occupational Therapist People that treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.

Osteoporosis Bone disease characterized by a reduction in bone density. The bones become porous and brittle as a result of calcium loss from the bones. Someone with osteoporosis is more vulnerable to breaking a bone.


Personal Care Nonskilled service or care, such as help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, getting in and out of bed or chair, moving around, and using the bathroom. It may also include care that most people do themselves, like using eye drops.

Physical Therapist Help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.

Private Pay Paying for long-term care with your personal finances, such as savings and investments, long-term care insurance, home equity, certain life insurance benefits and/or options, certain annuity contracts, and trusts.


Respite Temporary care in a Nursing Home, Adult Day Service Center, or in a person's home intended to provide time off for the informal caregivers who ordinarily care for someone on a regular basis.

Reverse Mortgage Type of loan based on home equity that enables older homeowners (62 years or older) to convert part of the equity in their homes into tax-free income without having to sell the home, give up title, or take on a new monthly mortgage payment. Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a regular mortgage, a lender makes payments to the homeowner. The loan, along with financing costs and interest on the loan, does not need to be repaid until the homeowner dies or no longer lives in the home.


Skilled Nursing Facility Facility that provides nursing care (such as help with medications, caring for wounds) and therapies (such as occupational, speech, respiratory, and physical therapy). Skilled care facilities usually require the services of a licensed professional such as a nurse, doctor, or therapist.

Social Security Disability Benefits Benefits paid by Social Security to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

Stroke Stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops.


Viatical Settlement Sale of an existing life insurance policy of a person that has a terminal illness to a third party for less than the death benefit. The person or company purchasing the policy must be licensed as a viatical settlement provider, viatical settlement broker or viatical settlement investment agent.


Will Legal document that specifies your wishes for after you die regarding allocation of your assets and other concerns.

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