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The Benefits of Investing in a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

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long-term care insurance policyAs people age, they may develop health conditions that require daily care for an extended time. Often health insurance does not cover all these costs, such as assistance with daily activities like bathing, at-home care, nursing home or adult day care, and home modifications for the disabled. Consider the benefits of investing in a long-term care insurance policy.

Know About Your Current Health Insurance Coverage

Most health insurance policies provided by an employer will not cover every aspect of long-term care. Medicare covers a nursing home or at-home care for a limited period, depending on the conditions. A long-term care insurance policy is meant to cover necessary expenses when other insurance does not. Older people looking for essential coverage should consult with a knowledgeable insurance agent about Medicare Supplement Insurance policies to fill in the gaps.

What to Consider When Choosing Long-Term Care Insurance

Purchasing long-term care insurance is less costly when you are younger, and older people might not be able to get this coverage – due to age requirements or health condition. Over time, the premiums increase. Choose an affordable policy that fits into the budget.

A person with a lower income may qualify for Medicaid, which covers nursing home and at-home care. But there are stringent eligibility requirements, including having little or no resources. Talk about long-term care needs with family and friends who might be able to help and be realistic about what they can do. Work with an accountant about possible tax and financial benefits of getting long-term care coverage, as well as ways to protect your wealth and family.

Basics About Long-Term Care Insurance

Most people buy individual long-term care insurance plans from an experienced insurance agent. Others get coverage from employers, organizations, and joint or state programs.

An agent can guide you through this process to select the best option. Consult with an insurance agent about long-term care insurance now rather than later as policies may not cover preexisting conditions. Waiting until you are in declining health could mean the condition is not covered by the policy.

And discuss your all of your options with your preferred agent. Traditional (pay as you go policies) were most popular just a few years ago, but hybrid, asset based LTC policies are gaining traction. You can purchase a hybrid plan in one lump sum – or with fixed annual premiums – and eliminate future premium increases. Best of all, your heirs will inherit your hybrid annuity or life insurance policy if it’s never used.

Extent of Coverage

Each long-term care insurance policy differs in its coverage and requirements, such as using services from a certain professional or agency or allowing independent care providers, including family members. Verify the type of coverage meets your unique needs.

Care coverage may include a nursing home, adult day care, assisted living facilities, nursing and other care, home health care, and home modification such as ramps. Carefully review the policy to ensure you get the coverage you need.

Be aware of policy limits and how much they will pay for these services. And there might be some exclusions, such as treatment for mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse. Verify your plan is “tax qualified” so that it has to follow all guidelines set by the government.

When Benefits Are Triggered

With most long-term care insurance, certain conditions must happen before the policyholder receives benefits. For example, the policyholder must be unable to perform designated activities of daily living (ADL). Typically, when a policyholder requires assistance with two or three ADLs, the benefits are “triggered.”

Inquire if the policy has a waiting or elimination period before the benefits start to be paid. And consider the increasing cost of medical care in the future. The cost of care today is sure to increase in ten years. Inquire if there is an option to purchase increased coverage in the future.

Few people want to think about becoming chronically ill or disabled as they age. However, having the right care makes this situation easier. Choosing long-term care insurance today can protect your personal and financial well-being in the future.

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Category: Long Term Care Insurance