Most Americans will have some personal experience with Long Term Care over the course of their lives, whether for themselves or for loved ones. As with any form of health care, Long Term Care needs can be difficult to predict. One way to make sure you’re prepared for what life has to throw at you is to purchase long term care insurance.
Are You Covered? Long Term Care Insurance Explained…
Certain people are more likely to develop issues over time, while others find themselves requiring assistance following an unsuspected heart attack, stroke or other sudden onset medical condition. Long Term Care insurance will cover the expenses not already included on your regular health insurance plan. Because your needs for LTC will be unpredictable, it might make sense to do your research early on when the plans are the most affordable and before you develop any medical issues.
To reduce the risk of being completely liable for these expenses down the road, it is important to research the most appropriate Long Term Care insurance plans for yourself and/or your loved ones.
It may seem counterintuitive because so many Americans have had personal experience with Long Term Care in one form or another, but most people lack critical knowledge about plans and options.
With over a third of the people using LTC services being under the age of 65, it’s clear that it’s never too early to learn more about options and plans. This guide is meant to help cut away from the technical jargon and provide the most concise information possible on the topic of Long Term Care Insurance.
When Should You Look into Long Term Care Insurance?
Waiting too long to purchase Long Term Care insurance could cost you the option altogether—you won’t be able to purchase a Long Term Care plan if you already have a pre-existing condition.
Depending on individual health and family history, most people purchase their Long Term Care insurance in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond. Of course, which options they choose depends entirely on their financial situation, personal health and preferences.
Who Should Look into Long Term Care Insurance?
To say that every single person needs to purchase Long Term Care Insurance would be misleading. There are, of course, certain situations which make more sense than others. Just because planning ahead and purchasing LTC insurance is a wise move for most, it might not be best for everyone.
People with less available liquidity might have trouble coming up with the money necessary to purchase LTC insurance as the premiums can be quite pricey. Conversely, those who have an ample amount of resources might be able to pay out of pocket on the condition that LTC needs arise in the future.
Those who truly benefit the most from purchasing LTC coverage typically reside in the middle of the pack, able to afford LTC insurance but not able to comfortably pay out of pocket expenses on the possibility of requiring LTC care in the future.
It is also smart to look at LTC options earlier in life, while the policies are still relatively inexpensive and your personal health isn’t a disqualifying factor. The longer you wait to get covered, the more likely you are to develop conditions which could impact the price of your plan.
How it all Works:
Let’s try to boil down the process to the most basic steps first so buying LTC insurance doesn’t seem so complicated.
Before being able to purchase a Long Term Care policy, you’ll first need to fill out an application and answer a list of questions related to your personal health history. You may be asked to perform an in-person or over-the-phone interview as well as disclose relevant medical records to your insurer.
After doing your research and considering your options, you will be asked to choose your level of coverage. Then, once you’re approved you can start to pay your premiums.
Your benefits can be claimed after you have been deemed to meet certain criteria. Under these policies, you can expect eligibility as soon as you are unable to perform two out of the six activities of daily living (ADL’s). These ADL’s are listed as:
- Caring for Incontinence
- Using the Restroom
- Transferring from a Bed or Chair
After proving your claim through the opinion of a nurse, caretaker or other medical documents, your insurer will then review your plan of care and determine if you qualify or not. Once you have been deemed eligible, you will then pay out of pocket for a brief period of time before the insurer redeems you. This period is referred to as the “elimination period,” and typically lasts between 30 and 90 days.
Why is Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance So Important?
For starters, regular health insurance will not cover expenses for Long Term Care. These services include any assistance with daily routines such as getting out of bed, eating, bathing, etc. These LTC policies will cover any assistance required due to a long-term disability, medical condition or disease.
Long Term Care is also extremely common—and getting even moreso. For the past several decades, Americans have been enjoying longer and healthier lives. With this, comes an increased need for Long Term Care services. It should seem straightforward, really. More Americans living longer = more Americans needing comprehensive medical services as they age.
According to Longtermcare.gov, 69% of those turning 65 years old this year will require some sort of Long Term Care. These services will likely last from one to three years. If you don’t have Long Term Care to help with these expenses, you could have to pay out of pocket for the entire duration of your illness or disability. Keep in mind, some people end up needing these services for much longer than three years (14% of which will need it for longer than five years).
Healthcare costs in general have ballooned in recent years and show no signs of slowing down. The average couple aged 65+ will spend around $280,000 over the course of retirement on medical expenses. This does not include Long Term Care, medicine or dental care. Tack on the additional expenses that Long Term Care might incur, and you’re looking at a pretty grim number to pay out of pocket. These are all factors that should be considered when looking at insurance policy options while you look at the possibility of purchasing Long Term Care insurance.
The Big Question: Are you covered?
The question is, are you covered where you need to be? Find out by requesting the free LTC Quote today.