Long-Term Care Insurance

August 27, 2010

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) is an investment in your future healthcare needs. With the rising cost of healthcare (home healthcare, assisted living, adult day care, nursing home) and the financial and emotional stress an illness like Alzheimer’s can cause you and your family, a long-term care insurance policy can give you and your loved ones peace of mind now – before you need to use it.

Why is Long-Term Care Insurance important for someone with Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s a progressive disease that worsens over many years. As the person gets further into the stages, he or she will need increasing care, whether at home or in an outside facility. The costs of this care can stretch a family financially. By purchasing even basic LTCI, you are taking one step to protect your assets and your family from massive care bills. Another reason to get LTCI is when you have identified the gaps in your health insurance and want to prepare for the worst in order to shield your family or caregiver from some of the stresses they currently face.

LTCI also gives the policy holder or his or her family more choices and control over the long-term care services available depending upon social and financial needs. Alzheimer’s is also a long-term disease that can drain savings. LTCI can help protect your assets because it will cover long-term care, which is a major healthcare expense.

What is covered by Long-Term Care Insurance?
LTCI is a form of private insurance that covers you if you need long-term care services. LTCI covers the expenses that are not generally covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Some plans offer the option to purchase in-home care in addition to assisted living, adult day care, respite care, nursing home care, and hospice care that is typically covered. The plans and their prices will vary widely, so you should shop around to be sure you are paying only for what you need and getting a good rate.

How much does Long-Term Care Insurance cost?
The cost of LTCI is determined by a number of factors, such as age, health status and the type of coverage you want. Because health status is taken into consideration, it is recommended that LTCI is purchased at a younger age when premiums are lower. There are sometimes discounts available to families and couples.

Ask your Human Resources department if your employer offers the opportunity to purchase LTCI as an employee benefit for a group discount. For example, Federal and US Postal employees have the opportunity to purchase Federal Long-Term Care Insurance at a group rate. Federal employees should contact the Office of Personnel Management for more information.

Where can I purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?
LTCI is available from most private insurance providers. Make sure you select a company that is reputable and reliable to ensure that you get the coverage you pay for and the coverage you need. Insurance can be purchased directly from a salesperson, online, or by mail. It may be helpful to have your attorney review the plan before you purchase to ensure that it covers the things you need.

What should I look for in a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy?

Source: Medicare.gov: Paying for Long-Term Care


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