Covering the Cost of Care: What’s Your Plan?
Health or disability insurance may not cover long term care costs.
Many people think—or hope—that their medical or disability insurance will pay for all or much of their care and personal support into their later years. But long term care is not typically covered by private medical or disability insurance. Medicare may cover care received in a skilled nursing facility for a short period of time, but it won’t cover custodial or personal care services at home or in assisted living. It’s also restricted to those with limited assets.
Unlike traditional health or disability insurance, Long Term Care (LTC) insurance is designed to cover long term services and support, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, an adult day center, assisted living, or other residential facility. Benefits can be used for services that assist with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating.
Unfortunately, many people also wait until it’s too late to qualify before they consider other options for funding their care. With long term care becoming costlier every year, delaying your planning can be risky.
A plan for managing long term care costs is important, especially in your 50s and beyond. A wide range of LTC insurance options and benefits is available, but don’t wait until you need care to start your research. You can’t quality for LTC insurance if you are already in poor health or are receiving long term care services.
LTC insurance is complex and it can be expensive. But there are many ways to keep it keep it affordable. An LTC insurance advisor who works with multiple insurers can provide access to various options, including alternatives to traditional LTC plans like “hybrid” products that combine Life insurance or annuities with LTC features.
An advisor can also help with:
- Finding the best price. Premiums vary significantly among insurers, with different “sweet spots” based on your age when applying. Available discounts and options can vary too.
- Evaluating your eligibility. Insurers establish their own health and family history requirements, which can change over time. An advisor can help match you with an insurance company that can offer you the best protection for your individual situation.
- Making a final decision. Chances are you will only purchase LTC insurance once. It almost never pays to switch your LTC insurance since premiums are based on your age at application. So you’ll want to make sure you’ve leveraged the expertise of a professional who really knows the business.
If you’re thinking about LTC insurance, don’t delay. Contact an advisor to start the discussion about putting your plan in place.