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Understanding Long-Term Care


It may not be wise for people over the age of 65 to rely on Medicare or private health insurance. Medicare does not cover custodial care, and private health insurance rarely pays any long-term care costs. Depending on your financial situation, long-term care insurance may be your best option for peace of mind and financial benefits as you age.

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Many people need assistance taking care of themselves later in life. Long-term care is a way to pay for those services. A long-term care insurance policy helps cover the costs of care should you develop Alzheimer’s or dementia or another chronic medical condition or disability. This type of policy will reimburse you a daily amount (up to a preselected limit) for assistance with daily activities, such as eating, bathing, or dressing. It will help cover the costs of such assistance provided in:

  • Your home
  • An assisted living facility
  • A nursing home
  • An adult day care center

When Is The Best Time To Buy Long-Term Care Coverage?

Long-term care costs are an important aspect of long range financial planning, particularly for individuals or couples in their 50s or older. Do not wait until you need it to purchase long-term care coverage. You will not qualify for this type of policy if you already have a debilitating condition. Many people buy long-term care insurance in their mid-50s to mid-60s.

Why Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

  • Studies have shown that many people currently age 65 will eventually develop a disability and need some long-term care services.
  • In many cases, these services are likely to be needed for less than a few years, but in some cases, they could be needed for five years or longer.
  • Health insurance does not cover long-term care.
  • Medicare does not cover custodial care, including supervision and assistance with daily tasks. It only covers short nursing home stays and limited home healthcare when rehab or skilled nursing is required.
  • If you do not have long-term care insurance, you may have to cover the costs of care yourself. Long-term care costs can quickly deplete retirement savings. Help is only available through Medicaid after you have exhausted most of your savings.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Long-Term Care Insurance

In shopping for long-term care insurance, you can select a range of benefits and care options that enable you to get the services you need when you need them. Factors affecting the cost of a long-term care insurance policy include:

  • Your age at the time you buy the policy
  • The maximum number of days or years the policy will pay
  • The maximum amount per day the policy will pay
  • Any optional benefits you choose that increase in price with inflation

It May Be Time To Purchase A Long-Term Care Policy Now

If you are in your 50s or 60s, long-term care insurance can be crucial to your overall financial planning. The sooner you purchase a policy, the lower your rates are likely to be. It is important to secure this coverage in advance, as you may not qualify if you are in poor health or already receiving long-term care services. Our knowledgeable agents will be happy to assist you in finding a long-term care insurance policy that suits your needs.

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