Long-Term Care Insurance: What Is It and Is It Worth It?

Right now, while you are healthy and in the prime of your life, it might be difficult to imagine that you will need help taking care of yourself down the line; however, even if you are in excellent health now, there’s a chance that your health may decline in the future, which means that there could be a good chance you will need assistance with care.

The cost of long-term care can be exceedingly high, costing thousands of dollars a month, which is why it is a wise idea to start planning now for any care that you may require in the future. A long-term care insurance policy can help you cover the cost.

What is a Long-Term Care?

Long-term care refers to a variety of services that are aimed to provide assistance with various aspects of day-to-day life, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Taking medications
  • Cooking
  • Eating

These services can be provided in an assisted living facility, a nursing home, an adult day care center or in your own home by a home health aide.

Why Would Long-Term Care be Necessary?

There are several reasons why long-term care would be needed. For example, someone who has suffered a stroke that has impacted their mobility or someone who has developed dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that has impaired their memory would require long-term care.

The intention of long-term care is to ensure that a person who can no longer adequately care for him- or herself receives the assistance that they require to live a safe and healthy life.

The Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

The services that are provided via long-term health care are not covered by regular health insurance or Medicare. Given the fact that these services can cost thousands of dollars a month, if you do not have long-term health coverage, you will end up having to pay for these expenses out of your own pocket.

Long-term care insurance offers two primary benefits:

  1. It protects savings. Long-term care costs can quickly deplete any retirement savings that you have accumulated. With long-term care insurance, your retirement savings will be protected, which means that you and your loved ones won’t have to worry about financial hardships.
  2. Better care. With a long-term care insurance policy, you can ensure that the resources are available to cover the cost of the care that you need.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Work?

In order to purchase a long-term care insurance policy, the first thing you need to fill out an application, which will likely include questions that pertain to your health. Sharing your medical records and an interview may also be required.

You will be able to choose the amount of coverage that you would like. Most policies cap the amount that will be paid out per day, as well as the amount that will be paid out during your lifetime. Once your application has been accepted and your coverage begins, you will start paying monthly premiums.

Though policies will differ from provider to provider, with most long-term care policies, you will be eligible to receive benefits when you are no longer able to do a certain amount of predetermined ‘activities of daily living,’ or if you have been diagnosed with a cognitive impairment, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

‘Activities of daily living’ usually include:

  • Dressing yourself
  • Bathing on your own
  • Preparing food and eating
  • Toileting by yourself (getting onto and off of a toilet)
  • Caring for incontinence on your own
  • Transferring on your own (getting into and out of a bed or a chair)

If you require long-term care, you will need to file a claim. Your insurance company will review your medical records and may require an evaluation by a medical professional that they have selected. Prior to approving your claim, your insurance provider will need to approve the care plan that you have selected.

Once your claim has been approved, you may be required to pay for services on your own for a certain period of time; 30 or 60 days, for example. This is known as the ‘elimination period,’ and once it is completed, your insurer will start to reimburse you for the care you are receiving.

Long-term care insurance can help to protect you and your family from any issues that arise in regard to caring for yourself as you age. To find out if this type of insurance is a wise investment, contact our law firm today. Our elder law attorneys will help you figure out if you would benefit from this long-term care insurance and how to get a policy that will best suit your needs.

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