How To Navigate Long-Term Care Insurance

According to a poll conducted in 2017 by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, two-thirds of Americans aged 40 and up say they've done little to no planning for their long-term care needs.

Many believe that they can rely upon health insurance or Medicare for their long-term care — but often that's not the case. Long-term care insurance is necessary to help cover the costs of care for those who have chronic medical conditions, disabilities, disorders such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia, or just the effects of aging.

What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?

Long-term care is expensive. The average costs of long-term care are $6,000 to $8,000 a month. If you start thinking about how you will afford it when you need it, it'll be too late. And if you're going to be taking care of grandparents or parents, you should be having a discussion with them now about whether they have the long-term care insurance they will need.

Long-term care insurance can reimburse you for care given at:

  • Your home.

  • An assisted living facility.

  • A nursing home.

  • An adult daycare center.

This gives you the flexibility you may need to get the care that you desire in the place that you want. Without long-term care insurance, you may find yourself having to pay for the bulk of these services out of pocket.

Navigating Long-Term Care Insurance

People are living longer and longer, which means they're also spending more of their retirement money and inheritance money on longevity needs. At whatever stage of life you're in now, know that you will probably need long-term care. Long-term care can cover a number of services that aren't covered by basic health insurance. And if you're retiring at 65, you have a 70 percent chance of requiring long-term care after you have stopped earning.

Choosing whether to buy long-term care insurance depends on your health and situation. But it's an important thing to consider, especially if you wouldn't be able to pay your long-term care expenses on your own. Medicare will help, but only a limited amount; it can cover short nursing home stays or limited amounts of home health care. Most people with long-term health insurance purchase it somewhere in their 50s or 60s.

Who Needs Long-Term Care Insurance

You may need long-term care insurance if any of the following apply:

  • You have assets you want to protect. Consider your family home. If you have long-term health insurance, you won't need to dip into the equity. But if you don't, you might find yourself either having to sell it or having to re-mortgage it before it's passed on to the family.

  • You enjoy having financial security or peace of mind. Otherwise, you may need to scramble to figure out how you're going to cover the costs of your long-term care, and you might need to involve family members.

  • You imagine you will need long-term care in the future. If you have health complications already, such as diabetes or a family history of dementia, you may find it's better to deal with the financial aspect now.

  • You don't want to burden your family. If the time comes for you to have long-term care and you don't have the financial wherewithal, it will fall upon your family to pay the bills. It may be that you'll be in no situation to help when the time comes.

But paying for long-term health insurance is a financial decision. Everyone's financial situation is unique. You need to carefully consider whether it's worth it for you.

You can purchase long-term health insurance from your insurance provider or, often, through your employer. When the time comes in which you do need to make a claim, the insurance company can review your information, consult with medical professionals, and make a decision.

While you don't necessarily need to invest in long-term care, there's a time when you should at least start considering it. It can save you a lot of stress down the road, even if you've discussed it with an insurance professional already and dismissed the idea. Contact our team of insurance professionals at Winter-Dent today to see if you or your business could benefit from the long-term insurance provides.

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