Long Term Care Insurance Author:    Posted under: Health InsuranceHealth Insurance Types

The daily activities of life, while significant and worthwhile, are often taken for granted by many. Until tragedy, or old age, strikes and then we are faced with having to rely on other people for help with even the most menial tasks.

Long term care insurance proves to be helpful with providing for the cost of the care needed when you or a loved one requires someone to help with physical, sometimes even emotional, needs for an extended period of time. These needs may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Walking
  • Providing meals
  • Toileting
  • Continence
  • Shopping
  • Providing comfort and assurance
  • Transferring (getting in and out of bed)
  • Providing transportation
  • Administering medications
  • Paying bills
  • Meeting doctor’s appointments
  • Managing household
  • Preventing unsafe behavior and wandering

People may need long term care due to an illness, disability, terminal condition or weakness brought on by old age, although age alone is not a determinant for needing long term care. The early onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease also leads to the requirement for this type of care.

The effects of these conditions are not limited to the emotional and physical. The cost for long term care is as devastating to anyone who has had an experience with them, and long term care insurance can provide that protection needed to cushion the blow to your family’s finances.

Services for long term care may be provided in any of the following settings (which are typically not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare):

  • Home care (either that of the recipient or a relative of the recipient)
  • Assisted living facility
  • Nursing home
  • Adult daycare
  • Hospice care
  • Alzheimer’s facilities

Considering the average amount of long term care: $81,777 for nursing home care, $42,346 for assisted living facilities and $33,223 for home care – it is easy to see the benefits of obtaining long term care insurance.  However, many see the rising cost of premiums as you age to be the great disadvantage to this type of insurance.

Those who are looking into obtaining long term care insurance will find that there is a great deal of choice and flexibility to it. Typically, the cost of your long term care insurance policy will be based on the type and amount of coverage you select, your age upon obtaining the policy and other optional benefits you may opt for. If you wait until you are in poor health and in dire need of long term care, you may find it difficult to obtain long term care insurance or need to pay coverage at a higher ‘non-standard’ rate.

There are common benefit periods available for long term care insurance policies. These are two, three, four and five years, and the lifetime or unlimited coverage, although not many companies offer unlimited or lifetime policies.

As with other types of insurance, the policy you select will dictate the price you have to pay as a premium. You will be able to select a payment schedule with most policies – you can pay on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis. Generally, you will need to pay the premiums until you begin to receive long term care benefits, then these are waived as long as you continue to receive them.

Before you make a decision to obtain long term care insurance, remember to shop around and compare policies, coverage and costs from different insurance providers. Read the policies carefully and take note of what are and are not covered in your policy to ensure that you know how it can help you if and when you need it. Find out which local facilities that provide care are qualified with the insurance provider.

It is always best to be armed with the information you need before committing to one long term care insurance policy. Even then sharing the details of your policy and your wishes about the type of care you’d want, to a family member or friend who can help you when you become too weak or ill to fight for you, is adviseable.


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