Long-Term Care Insurance: Is This Coverage Right for Me?

Long term care insurance can seem rather intimidating and confusing unless you know someone who has first-hand knowledge and experience with it. So let’s take a moment to try and unscramble the facts and answer the most common questions regarding long term care insurance. Let’s begin with what exactly long term care insurance it. Long term care insurance is an insurance plan designed to cover the costs related to long term care which normally is not covered by a regular insurance plan or even Medicare. Such long term care includes in-home services along with services rendered in various community or facility-type settings.

Long term care insurance provides a lot of flexibility in terms of options. With this insurance plan, you are able to select a variety of care benefits and options which allows you to be the most personalized coverage to fit your exact needs. The cost of your insurance policy will be determined based on the number and type of services you would like to have along with your age at the time the policy is purchased and any additional options you would like, for example, Inflation Protection. If you are currently of poor health and are already getting services for long term care, there is a possibility that you may not qualify for this type of insurance or may have a limit to your coverage or will have to purchase it for a higher price or rate.

Long term care insurance has a lifetime benefit maximum or a benefit period which is the amount of time or money up to which your benefits will be covered and fully paid for. The most common benefit periods are between two and five years or unlimited coverage through a lifetime plan. Usually, it is the dollar amount that is taken into consideration though and not the actual number of days. With long term care insurance you will be paying premiums for specific amounts that you will know about in advance and these are waived once you are actually receiving benefits.

It is important to note however that not everyone will be able to buy long term care insurance. You may not qualify if you are already using long term care type services, if you currently need assistance with daily living, if you have AIDS, if you have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any type of cognitive dysfunction, if you have what is considered a progressive neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis, if you have had a stroke within the past 2 years, and if you have cancer that has metastasized. Other conditions will also be evaluated before being accepted.

Before choosing long term care insurance there are some important things to keep in mind. Do not make the mistake of buying more insurance than you may need. The smaller you can keep your policy, the better off you will be. So try and consider if you have enough income to pay for part of your costs or perhaps you have family that is willing to pay for a portion of your care costs. While it is not good to buy too much insurance, do not make the mistake of buying too little either. If you do not have enough coverage, it may delay its usage when you really need it. Remember that it is easier to decrease your amount of coverage than it is to increase your coverage at a moments notice if your health suddenly begins to decline. Also remember to carefully evaluate the policy you are considering because there is no policy that will cover all of your needs without tweaking it here and there and looking at all of your options.

Another interesting fact to remember is that it will cost less to purchase a long term care insurance policy when you are younger. As with any other important decision in your life, make sure that you take time to look at all of your options and take to a professional to determine if a long term care plan is truly right for you.