Did you know that life expectancy has been increasing continuously? With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 daily, more and more Americans are faced with difficult and expensive decisions regarding care options for themselves or their aging loved ones. Roughly 60 percent of people over the age of 65 require some type of long-term care at some point in their lifetime.
In This Long-Term Care Insurance Article:
What Is Long Term Care Insurance?
When Is The Best Time To Purchase Long Term Care Insurance For Assisted Living
What Is The Cost of Long Term Care Insurance For Assisted Living?
What to Look For In A Long-Term Care Insurance Policy
What You Should Know Before Purchasing A Long-Term Care Insurance
Oftentimes, seniors move to an assisted living or care home because they require some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming and/or walking.
Assisted Living Care Insurance, known as “Long-term Care Insurance”, is a type of insurance that will pay for an individual who may require care for an extended period of time. A person with a chronic illness, a disability or cognitive impairment, is more likely to require long-term care.
Generally, Long-term Care Insurance will pay for care services that are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or regular Health Insurance. It pays for nursing homes, adult day care centers, home care, home health care, respite care, assisted living and Alzheimer’s Care facilities.
Regular health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid do not cover long-term care in an assisted living facility. As we all know, the cost of care in an assisted living facility can be very expensive. That is why more and more families have been considering Long-Term Care Insurance when planning for their future care needs.
Preparing for your future care needs with the purchase of long-term care insurance is best done at an earlier age as it is less expensive. If you have good health, it is suggested that you start looking when you’re in your mid 50’s. People typically move to an assisted living facility when they’re in their 80’s.
If you buy Long Term Care insurance when you are too young, you will be paying premiums for many years that may be unnecessary. On the other hand, if you wait until you have medical problems, you may not be qualified to buy this insurance at all.
In the past, life insurance for men has been more expensive, but long-term care insurance is becoming more and more expensive for women nowadays. This is due to the fact that women are living longer than men by an average of five to seven years.
The costs for Long-Term Care Insurance may vary greatly between different assisted living facilities. It is ideal to have a recommendation for a good facility from a doctor, a local senior center and/or a trusted Assisted Living Placement Agency so you and your family can make the best care decision possible.
It is a good idea to make a list of facilities that are close to your area. Next, plan to visit and tour the assisted living facilities to compare costs and services.
If you plan to visit or tour assisted living facilities in your area, be sure to observe the interactions between the staff and the assisted living residents. You might also want to get a copy of any rules for the residents and a copy of the admissions contract so you can review it.
You can also contact the long-term-care ombudsman in your state as they act as independent advocates for seniors and families. Be sure to ask them about any complaints filed against the possible assisted living facilities in your list.
Once you have all the information you need, including pricing, you can now compare the costs and services to your assisted living care insurance policies.
How can you make sure that you are purchasing the right Long-Term Care Insurance? How will you know that the LTC Insurance is enough to pay for assisted living when the time comes? Do your homework by comparing the different long-term care insurance policies that are available.
It is very important that you ask your long-term care agent important questions about the LTC Insurance coverage. Make sure it has enough coverage for your or your loved ones future care needs, including assisted living.
Be sure that you understand the Long Term Care Insurance policy completely before signing it. Don't forget to check for any loopholes that will allow for any rate increase. Financial experts say that “the Long-Term Care Insurance monthly premium should be less than five percent of your monthly income.”
- Coverage– Be sure you have a clear understanding of what is covered and what is not.
- Initial daily benefit and also the maximum benefit period for the Long-Term Care Insurance you are purchasing.
- Inflation- How will inflation affect your premiums?
- Benefit period of the policy- The length of time that daily benefits are paid for covered services.
- How long is the elimination period? Elimination period is the number of days that must pass following the occurrence of a “benefit trigger”. This is the point where you begin receiving payments for the services rendered. Keep in mind that the elimination period for Long-Term Care Insurance can range between 0 to 180 days depending on the policy you are purchasing. Shorter elimination periods mean higher premiums.
- Reimbursements– Will the Long-Term Care Insurance Policy provide cash or will it only reimburse actual care expenses.
There are many things to consider when purchasing a LTC insurance policy that covers an assisted living facility. Of course, you want to get a Long-Term Care insurance policy that will meet your future care needs and also one that is affordable. Sometimes, the terms in these LTC insurance policies are difficult to understand and can be veryconfusing. That’s why it is always best to consult your financial advisor or a trusted friend that is knowledgeable with Long-Term Care Insurance policies.
Remember, legally you only have 30 days to cancel a policy and to request a refund. So be sure to review the Long-Term Care Insurance policy thoroughly before purchasing it.
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About the Author: Catharine D. Allado is a Senior Care Expert and the COO of SeniorCareHomes.com – A trusted and comprehensive online directory of Senior Care Homes such as Assisted Living, Nursing Homes and other types of Senior Housing in California, Florida, New York, Arizona and the rest of the United States. SeniorCareHomes.com also provides FREE Assisted Living options to help seniors and families find the best Senior Housing on the planet!
Articles Related to Long Term Care:
- Guide To Long Term Care Insurance
- Can You Afford The Cost of Long Term Care?
- Long Term Care Planning
- Types Long Term Care Facilities
- Major Factors That Influence the Fees For Long Term Care Facilities
- Payment Options for Long Term Care
Other SeniorCareHomes.com Helpful Links:
- Seniors Online Community & Long Term Care Discussion Forum
- Long Term Care Facility Search
- Long Term Care Facility Registration