Long Term Care Insurance Basics

Leo Chen, Sep 21, 2014
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Long Term care insurance is a great way of preparing yourself for costly long term care down the road. This is something we don’t look forward to but having something there to help us financially when we need it most.  

 

Long Term Care

Permanent disability, cognitive impairment and lingering illnesses require long term care. These medical conditions necessitate specialized services designed to improve the quality of living for people suffering from lingering and debilitating illnesses. Medical insurance on the other hand are used for procedures used to treat medical conditions.

Seniors suffering from serious physical illness, permanent disability or cognitive impairment require hands-on care. This type of care is provided through nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice and even your home. Long term care is offered 24/7 and under direct supervision of qualified medical personnel.

 

Long Term Care – Is it for you?

The need for long term care increases with age. With advancing age, activities of daily living become more and more difficult. Seniors who are unable to perform simple activities as a result of a stroke, cognitive impairment (Alzheimer’s) or a broken hip require long term care.

Advancements in medical science and better appreciation for the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle has resulted to the increase of average life expectancies. And with more people living longer, the greater their need for long term care.

Long term care is not something we look forward to but having long term care insurance ensures that help will be there when we need it.

     

Should I Buy Long Term Care Insurance?

The first thing to consider is this something you could afford. Important factors that influence the amount of premium to be paid include your age, health and care benefits. Planning ahead and enrolling at a younger age is the best way of ensuring you are getting the best deal on premiums.  

Long term care insurance is not recommended for people with limited incomes and living on government benefits. However, this would be a good buy for people who are have considerable assets and who would like to avail of cheaper long term care.

Study your long term goals and consider if paying for long term care insurance is something you could afford. Take a closer look at your needs and finances. You might be able to afford a cheaper policy but is it only worth the paper it’s written on. Talking with close friends and family can go a long way in helping you make a more informed decision. 

 

Types of Long Term Care Insurance Policies

Long term care insurance is commonly sold by major insurance companies as part of their product lineup. But this is not only available through private companies. It is also offered by federal agencies for government employees and their families. Long term care insurance could be sold to an individual or offered through a group plan. It can also be offered as an additional policy such as a health insurance plan.

  

Individual Policies

A majority of long term care insurance are sold as individual policies. Unlike other insurance instruments, long term care insurance is offered separately because it addresses a special need. Policies may vary from company to company.

Group/ Employer Policies

Group long term care insurance is cheaper compared to individual policies. Employers can also offer this as an added benefit to their employees because these are now covered under a federal tax benefit. An advantage of getting employer policy is it makes it easier for you to enroll by reducing some of the requirements. Employers may also extend this to retirees and their families. 

Federal or State Policies

Federal or State government employees, retirees, uniformed services and their families are eligible for long term care insurance. This is available through the Federal Long Term Care Insurance program. The federal government is not responsible for paying premiums and private companies underwrite the policy. The benefit of enrolling in this policy is that you are able to enjoy better rates like those enjoyed by group policies.