Going Long on Long-Term Care Insurance

Everything you need to know about long-term care insurance

Long-term care insurance is essentially coverage for aging and illnesses that don’t go away. Benefits kick in when you’re unable to perform what insurers call the tasks of daily living — feeding, bathing, etc. — yourself. These plans cover home aides, nursing homes and more. While it’s impossible to know how long you’ll live, there’s a good chance at some point in your life you’ll end up using a service that long-term care insurance would cover. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know.

Why You Might Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance

Some factors to consider when mulling over long-term care insurance are your gender, your assets and your family situation. Women live longer than men, so there’s a greater chance that — if you’re a woman — you’ll end up using a service covered by this type of insurance.

As US News reports, another reason to purchase long-term care insurance is if you have too many assets to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to cover long-term care out of pocket. While this insurance is helpful for covering the costs of elderly care, you might not need it. If you have a large family that is capable of providing care for you, it’s likely not necessary.

How/When To Apply

Long-term care insurance can be quite complicated, so be sure to apply for it through an agent you trust. The application process depends on the company, so they’ll each have a different set of guidelines an agent can guide you through.

If possible, you should apply for long-term care insurance when you’re healthy and in the 50-60 year age range. If you’re already suffering from chronic illnesses, you’ll likely get declined. And when you do, you get put into a database, making it harder to get coverage down the road.

Ways to Save

Applying for long-term care insurance while you’re healthy is one way to save on the bill. You’ll likely get a lower rate and lower premiums. Another way to trim the cost is by purchasing a policy with a longer waiting period — meaning you’ll cover your bills for the first 90 or 180 days you need care and the policy will kick in afterward. As with anything, shop around for the best coverage and deals.

Chris O'Shea

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