UNDERSTANDING LONG TERM CARE (LTC) INSURANCE
A long-term care insurance policy helps cover the costs of that care when you have a chronic medical condition, a disability or a disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease. Most policies will reimburse you for care given in a variety of places, such as:
Considering long-term care costs is an important part of any long-range financial plan, especially in your 50s and beyond. Waiting until you need care to buy coverage is not an option. You won’t qualify for long-term care insurance if you already have a debilitating condition. Most people with long-term care insurance buy it in their mid-50s to mid-60s.
WHY PURCHASE A LONG TERM CARE POLICY?
Among 65-year-olds, 75% will use some form of long-term care in the years ahead, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Regular health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care and Medicare won’t come to the rescue, either; it covers only short nursing home stays or limited amounts of home health care when you require skilled nursing or rehab. It does not pay for custodial care, which includes supervision and help with day-to-day tasks. If you don’t have insurance to cover long-term care, you’ll have to pay for it yourself. You can get help through Medicaid, the federal and state health insurance program for those with low incomes, but only after you’ve exhausted most of your savings.
People buy long-term care insurance for two reasons:
Based on a 2016 Cost of Care Survey (Source:Genworth). The annual median cost of Long Term Care is as follows:
HOW DOES LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE WORK?
To buy a long-term care insurance policy, you fill out an application with your broker and answer all health questions on the application. The insurer may ask to see medical records and possible do a phone interview with the applicant. From here the applicant chooses the amount of coverage they want. The policies usually cap the amount paid out per day and the amount paid during your lifetime.
Once you’re approved for coverage and the policy is issued, you begin paying premiums.
Under most long-term care policies, you’re eligible for benefits when you can’t do at least two out of six “activities of daily living,” called ADLs, on your own or you suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairment.
The activities of daily living are:
When you need care and want to make a claim, the insurance company will review medical documents from your doctor and may send a nurse to do an evaluation. Before approving a claim, the insurer must approve your “plan of care."
Under most policies, you’ll have to pay for long-term care services out of pocket for a certain amount of time, such as 30, 60 or 90 days, before the insurer starts reimbursing you for any care. This is called the “elimination period.” The policy starts paying out after you’re eligible for benefits and usually after you receive paid care for that period. Most policies pay up to a daily limit for care until you reach the lifetime maximum.
For more information on a Long Term Care options please contact Blanchard Insurance Agency.
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