We plan for retirement with IRAs and 401(k) plans.
We plan for after our deaths with funeral arrangements and a life insurance policy.
But what about the time in-between? Many people aren’t even aware that long-term care insurance is an option.
“Unless you know someone who had to take care of a parent or spouse and watched their life and life savings be devastated, you are not likely to buy it,” says 38-year insurance industry veteran Ted Carpenter of The Insurance Store.
While Medicare and traditional health insurance will cover your medical needs, long-term care insurance can be used to cover the things that fall outside traditional insurance such as:
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Nursing Homes
- Home Care
- Adult Day Care Services
- Care Coordination
- Home modifications
Since hospice care is typically paid for by some type of insurance , long-term care insurance wouldn't be used to cover it. But, it does cover the care you or a loved one may need while in hospice.
Long-term Care Insurance Eligibility
The younger you are when you purchase long-term care insurance, the lower your premiums will be. Most people wait until they are between 59 and 65 before considering long-term care insurance, but even with a life expectancy of several decades ahead of them, it may be too late if they already have serious medical issues. Talk to your insurance agent about what medical conditions may be excluded by your policy.
Ted offers the following advice for those shopping for a long-term care insurance policy.
- Get the Policy You Can Afford – “Some people look at the ‘Cadillac’ of policies and can’t afford it so they don’t buy anything,” Ted explains. “Everyone should have something, but everyone doesn’t have to have a Cadillac. If you can only afford a policy that covers three to four years, do it.”
- Choose a Known Provider – Because most people purchase long-term care insurance many decades before they need to use it, it’s important to go with a company that has stability.
- Add Inflation Protection – Just like the cost of household items, the cost for care increases over the year. Invest in a policy you can sustain with a plan for at least three percent in inflation protection.
A good long-term-care policy can be a lifesaver to ensure you can afford the care you need in your later years. A licensed insurance agent can help walk you through your options.
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