Planning our futures requires some tough decisions, especially when it comes to retirement financing and healthcare. One aspect many of us ignore is the possibility of long-term care. Considering that 70% of people who make it to age 60 will require long-term care at some point, we should do our best to plan for this need early. Healthcare costs continue to increase, making long-term care insurance a great option for those who want some control over their future.
Long-term care insurance allows us to stay in our homes longer, choose where and from whom we get our care, and protects our retirement investments. It gives us the freedom and flexibility to take our healthcare into our own hands and worry less about how we’ll afford to get older.
Today, we’re going to talk about a few things you should consider to find the best long-term care insurance for you.
Before we break down the things you should look at when evaluating long-term care health insurance, let’s run through a quick refresher on what this kind of insurance is for. Long-term care refers to a variety of things, all of which help us with our day-to-day activities. Anyone who needs help with ADLs (activities of daily living) can be said to need long-term care. ADLs are things like bathing, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, and moving into or out of beds and chairs. You may receive long-term care in your home or in a facility like a skilled nursing facility or assisted living retirement home.
Long-term care insurance reimburses policyholders when their provider has determined they need help with at least two ADLs. The amount of money you’ll be reimbursed depends on the policy you purchased. For example, you may purchase a plan that pays up to $10,000 per month for three years. Any costs over and above that amount will be your responsibility.
Keep in mind that most long-term care insurance plans have an elimination period, which is similar to a waiting period. If you have an elimination period of 90 days, that means that you will be responsible for all costs incurred within those first 90 days of your long-term care assistance. After that, the insurance policy will begin to reimburse you.
Choosing health insurance is never easy and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We can’t make this decision for you, but we do have a few things you can look at to decide what the best long-term care insurance is for you.
The best time to buy long-term care insurance is when you’re relatively young and healthy. The reason for this is that the premiums increase as you age, but are usually locked in at whatever age you are when you purchase the policy. In addition, most plans have medical underwriting guidelines, which means you may not be able to purchase a plan if you are in poor health.
Your family health history and your lifestyle choices will affect your potential need for long-term care. If chronic illnesses run in your family or you live a high-risk lifestyle, you should consider investing in a long-term care policy.
We know long-term care will be expensive when you need it, but can you afford the premiums on an insurance policy? Remember, you’ll have other health insurance to pay for as well: Medicare, prescription plans, etc. Does your budget allow for an additional policy? On the other hand, do you have enough in savings to afford long-term care if you need it?
Before you purchase any kind of health insurance, check out the fine print. Every policy will have limits on what it will pay for, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re purchasing. Take a look at the monthly maximum, the lifetime maximum, and the elimination period. Then, compare these amounts to the cost of long-term care in your area. Will the policy be sufficient?
You’re probably thinking this doesn’t sound like much fun. The good news is, you don’t have to go through this entire process alone. The Local Medicare Specialists have independent insurance agents near you and can help you decide which long-term care plan is right for your situation. Call us today and let’s start securing your future.
Schedule a FREE Medicare plan consultation with an agent in your neighborhood.
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We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area which are United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Centene, Devoted, and Scan. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.