Long Term Care Insurance: Description Of Long Term Care Insurance

When you get older and need help getting dressed and making your meals, who will help you? Do you have family you can turn to? If not, can you afford to hire someone? When you are in your 50s, you need to start answering these questions.

It is a misconception that Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance will cover your assisted living expenses when you can no longer perform your own daily tasks. Long term care insurance (LTC) will extend your coverage once your short-term coverage ends.

Long term care insurance is not only for those who need help simply because they have aged. People can require long term care at a very young age if they are debilitated and cannot look after themselves. Almost half of the Americans being supported by long term care insurance are between the ages of 18 and 64.

Long term care insurance must be in place before your health deteriorates to where you need assistance. When to purchase LTC insurance is a difficult decision to make. In recent years, Americans have been purchasing their long term care insurance in their late 50s and early 60s. You are taking a gamble if you wait too long; if a debilitating health issue arises before you purchase your policy, you may no longer qualify or will have an elimination period where you have to wait for an extended period of time before you can receive benefits. Some insurance companies require the person to have been paying on their policy for up to one year before they can begin receiving their assisted living support payments.

Long Term Care Insurance: Description Of Long Term Care Insurance

Once you do decide to begin paying for long term care insurance, the policy cannot be changed or canceled by the insurer for any health-related reasons; however, the insurer can cancel the policy for non-payment. It is possible that you will be paying the premium for your LTC insurance for many years; therefore it is important that the monthly rate be well within your budget so you do not later lose a coverage you have financially invested in for 20 years.

Your long term care insurance premiums are based on a number of factors:

  • Your age.
  • The amount of your indemnity.
  • How long your benefits will be in effect.
  • The elimination or waiting period.
  • Inflation coverage.
  • If your health rating is preferred, standard or sub-standard.
  • Couples can receive discounts on a joint policy.

Long term care insurance will ensure you can financially afford the help you need with the activities of daily living.

Long Term Care Insurance: What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover?

You cannot predict what your health will be like when you are a senior citizen. You can make some educated guesses by looking at your family’s health history and your own lifestyle; however, you do want to have long term care insurance in place before you need assistance with the activities of daily living.

The activities of daily living (ADLs) include: cooking and eating, cleaning house, dressing and using the toilet and bathtub. If you can no longer perform these daily functions on your own, you can qualify for your long term care insurance benefits.

Long term care insurance benefits will cover the cost of assistance whether you receive:

  • Care at home or in an assisted living residence.
  • Respite care or adult daycare to support your family if they are taking care of you.
  • Care in a hospice, nursing home or an Alzheimer’s facility.

You also have choices on the level of care you receive and how regularly you are attended to:

  • Minor assistance with a caregiver or housekeeper.
  • More involved assistance with a therapist or private nurse.
  • Your attendant can take care of you on a visiting or live-in basis and can be available to you every day and even on a 24-hour basis.

Your policy can cover all or some of your long term care expenses. You can decide.

  • If you have other sources of income, such as a 401K or RRSP, you can reduce your coverage to 50 percent, or to cover only facility costs, and so on. This way, you can reduce your premium rate.
  • If this will be your only source of financial support, you can receive full coverage for an unlimited time.

Home care can require additional services and your long term care insurance can pay for them:

  • Monitoring equipment.
  • Safety bars and wheelchair ramps.
  • Transportation to and from your doctor appointments.
  • A family member or friend can receive training in the care you require and can also receive a salary for attending to your care.
  • A nurse can be available to supervise your care and to support your caregiver.
  • Rehabilitation therapy.
  • Prescription medication.

Everyone does eventually need help, some earlier than others. Hope to be one of the lucky ones who will be an independent senior; but be financially prepared in case you need help sooner.

Long Term Care Insurance: Who Needs Long Term Care Insurance?

Long Term Care Insurance: What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover?

You need to decide when and if you need long term care. You can wait until you are older and save some money in premium payments. You could also become debilitated and no longer be able to look after yourself, at an early age.

If you suffer from an ailment that severely impairs your cognitive thinking and you can no longer perform the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as feeding and cleaning yourself, moving from your bed to your sofa, or walking unassisted, you need long term care and the financial assistance of long term care insurance.

Almost anyone between the ages of 18 and 84 can qualify for long term care insurance. Look into your family’s health history. If your family suffers from chronic illnesses, there is a very good chance you will too, and you will need long term care. On the upside, if longevity runs in your family, you may also need long term care but not until you have reach the age of 90 or so. On average, women live ten years longer than men; therefore a wife may need extended long term care insurance coverage that continues past the death of her husband.

The health issues that can require a person to need long term care include: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal and other injuries, cerebral palsy and the frailty of old age.

Another issue is the availability of family and friends willing to take care of you as you get older. Whether they live too far away or are simply unable to help, you may need long term care insurance to ensure you receive proper care as you get older.

Long term care insurance will financially help you when you can no longer work and provide for yourself and your family.

  • If you are currently just getting by, you may want to purchase a long term care insurance policy.
  • If your retirement income and assets will not cover the cost of long term care, a policy may be necessary.
  • If you are married and one spouse needs to go into a nursing home, you cannot sell your house to cover the costs because there is still one spouse at home. Nursing home expenses average $60,000 per year, which will then be an added living expense.

Long term care usually costs more than the average American standard of living. Make sure you are taken care of in your senior years.

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