Long-Term Care Insurance - What It is and Why You Need It

Written by on 1/13/2016 7:15 AM . It has 2 Comments.

long term care insurance

Getting older has plenty of perks (Senior Discounts!) but there’s a good chance, whether you remain fairly healthy or not, you’re going to need some help as you age. You may not even be able to live on your own at a certain point.

Nursing homes and home health aides all cost money. Long-term care insurance is the best option for most people to live a long life while getting the care they need.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Unlike health insurance, long-term care insurance does not cover medical expenses. Instead, it covers the non-medical, but very necessary care, provided by nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care services and aides.

We all want to believe that we’ll have help from spouses, children, and other family members as we get older. Even if that help is available, caregiving is a difficult job and family members will often need help. This is where long-term care insurance comes in. Contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not cover your long-term care needs as you age. Medicaid is available for some, but in order to qualify, you’ll have to have almost no assets.

Why Is Long-Term Care Insurance Important?

No matter how young - or young-at-heart - you are, long-term care insurance is something to think about sooner rather than later. Unlike medical insurance, you can be denied coverage if you have current health problems. The younger and healthier you are when you purchase coverage, the more options you’ll have and the lower your premiums will be.

If you think you can’t afford long-term care insurance, think again. A semi-private room in a nursing home could cost you at least $80,000/year while a private room can be nearly $100,000. Staying at home is more affordable, but still expensive. Home health services can cost $40,000 or more per year. Those numbers are at today’s rate. If you’re relatively young now, those costs will only continue to rise over time. Long-term care insurance allows you to pay a fraction of that cost and know that you’ll be taken care of when the time comes.

Important Considerations for a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

You’ll have several things to consider when choosing and using a long-term care policy. There is no one-size-fits-all plan.

Consider these factors when buying or using your policy:

  • Waiting periods can be 30, 60, or 90 days before coverage applies.
  • Coverage may be limited to a certain number of years or a specific dollar amount.
  • Proof will be required of what you need help with before you can use your coverage: bathing, eating, dressing, using the bathroom, etc.
  • Most plans don’t cover inflation (but some do). If you’re covered for $150 per day, that may be all you’ll get, regardless of rising costs.

Remember, the plan is to grow old gracefully, but at some point you may need help. In fact, more than 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care assistance before they die. Find a policy now before you need it and give your family and yourself peace of mind that you’ll be cared for later in life.

When you’re ready to discuss your long-term care insurance options, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’re here to help!

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