How to Find Quality Long Term Care Insurance
Long term care insurance has been steadily growing in recognition and popularity, and not a moment to soon! Buying long term care insurance now can save you and your family many thousands (or millions!) of dollars in the years to come. Honest.
Explains why long term care insurance is a valuable policy
Describes the costs and coverage of a long term care policy
Helps you find the providers and policies to fit your needs
What is long-term care insurance?
In general, this term describes policies that help cover the cost of an individual's care or supervision over the course of an illness, disability, or even by normal aging.
Long term care insurance is not a cheap policy, but because more than half of all Americans will need long term care during their lives, it can be invaluable in protecting your hard earned savings and assets, like your home, later in life.
Why is this type of policy so important? Because standard health policies, Medicare, and medigap rarely cover the kind of extensive and/or flexible care many Americans will require at some point in their lives. And while Medicaid does cover many of the same things long term care insurance does, you generally won't qualify for the coverage unless you have little or no savings and assets; (no, you should not start spending money willy-nilly now to insure that you qualify).
The costs of buying long term care insurance
The yearly cost of long term care insurance can vary from as little as $250 per year to as much as $6,000 or more. You'll probably pay somewhere in the middle. The premium depends on a combination of your age, your health, the extent of the coverage you're buying, and the age at which you first purchased the policy.
(The best long term car insurance policies will maintain your original premium for as long as you continue coverage - the big plus of buying sooner rather than later.)
While this may seem like a lot to pay per year (and it is), the cost of personal home or nursing home care is so very, very much greater. Additionally, a good long term care insurance policy, unlike Medicaid, for example, will guarantee you flexibility in care.
You can keep the costs of long term care insurance down in two ways. The first is to get it early. The earlier you get you insurance, the cheaper it will be, but the longer it will be before you can utilize it. The second way to decrease the cost of long term care coverage is to get it from one of several competing agents who will tailor the policy to your needs, and try to save you the most money. Fill out a quote form, and start looking for the lowest premiums now.
What's covered under a long term policy
This varies a lot, of course, but common coverage includes: residential assistance, round-the-clock care, visits by skilled medical workers, rehabilitative care, nursing home stays, and hospice care.
Because this type of policy involves daily care, the long term care insurance companies will usually contribute a dollar amount toward care each day for so many days. The duration of and amount of your coverage you receive is decided by you when you purchase the policy.
Your age at the time you negotiate the policy and start paying premiums is a big issue when it comes to buying long term care insurance. The cost of coverage at age 65 is about 3 times as much as the same coverage at 50. (And buying long term care insurance if you're already ill can be almost impossible.) The lesson here is, if you know long term care insurance is coverage you'll want in the future, it's extremely wise to start researching policies now.
One last financial benefit of long term care insurance: tax deductions. Not only are long term care insurance premiums deductible, but any eventual benefits you receive are tax-free too. (We have a separate web site where you can learn more about claiming this and other tax deductions).
Getting the best long term care insurance policy available
Our four easy steps to follow to ensure you get the the best long term care insurance policy available:
1) Do your research, ask the right questions, become an informed consumer,
2) Compare policies, look at some policies side-by-side to compare the small but important details,
3) Take your time, remember, while you can change your policy, its best to find the right one the first time
4) Get the ball rolling, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...if your never start, you'll never finish.
Long term care insurance is not an easy coverage to understand. And there are so many policy options available, it can be hard to know which to choose. Fortunately, there's a lot of help for you out here, too. Long term care insurance companies, regulators, and advocacy groups all publish helpful literature, so you won't want for knowledge.
The question now is, how to approach it all? We recommend that you balance research and shopping. Signing onto a plan before you examine your needs is unwise, but planning out the perfect policy before you shop, only to find it priced beyond your means, is a waste of time too. Try shopping long term care insurance quotes while you research
Get the ball rolling (one of the hardest things to do when you're thinking about an optional coverage like long term care insurance). You can apply online with a service like InsureME and long term care insurance companies will contact you with competing quotes.
It's the fast (and easy!) way to get competitive quotes from long term insurance companies in your area, and licensed insurance agents are one of the best sources on policy information.
Keep this in mind:
The typical cost for a long term care insurance plan is $800 per year if you buy the plan when you are 50 years old and $1,600 per year at age 65.
Get a quote now, and see how much you can save.