Long term care insurance is a kind of health insurance that pays for skilled nursing care in your home, an assisted-living facility, or nursing home. Even if you are currently healthy, it often pays to buy long term care insurance, because nursing care for senior citizens can cost over $200 per day, depending on the type of care and where you live.
Who Buys Long Term Care Insurance?
Long term care insurance companies offer this type of insurance to individuals wanting to financially protect themselves in case, one day, they are unable to care for themselves due to illness, disability, or other impairment. If a chronic illness, such as Fibromyalgia, or a cognitive disease like Alzheimer’s runs in your family, it is in your best interest to purchase long term care insurance. This type of insurance ensures that you will be professionally cared for if/when you become ill, and that your children, other family members, or your friends won’t deplete their savings trying to pay for your long term care.
Long Term Care Insurance Cost
Depending on your state, a stay in a nursing home can cost up to (or in rare cases, over,) $100,000 for one year. A study conducted by Conning and Company shows that 60% of seniors 65-years or older will require long term care at some point in their lives. This is an astounding percentage. Though the average patient’s stay in a long term care facility is for less than one year, $100,000 per year is a scary number that most of us cannot afford to dish out for years and years, if required.
What Factors Affect My Premium?
Long term care insurance premiums depend on your current health, your age, and state. The average long term care insurance cost is around $3,700 per year. Though this may seem like a lot of money, when you consider the extremely high cost of long term care, it could be a wise investment if you can afford it and if you think you or your spouse may need it in the future.
Important Long Term Care Tips to Consider
If you or your loved ones are around age 55 or 60, it may time to think about long term care insurance. The longer you wait, the older you become and the more expensive your premium will be.
One of the most important rules to long term care insurance premiums is choosing a financially-stable insurance company, such as AARP. You need to make sure that the company you choose will be around to pay your claim, if you ever need to submit one.
Long term care insurance is not always easy to obtain. If you have a serious pre-existing condition, you may not qualify for coverage. Some long term care insurance companies make applicants pass a physical with their own doctors before they can be approved.
Finally, be sure to purchase a flexible long term care policy covering several types of long term care, including adult day care, hospice, custodial care, nursing home care, and provisional overnight care.
Should I ever have more than one long term care policy?
In some cases, having access to more than one long term care policy can work to your advantage. For example, if you are purchasing one policy so that you can supplement another policy you already have and that has gaps in coverage that create difficulties for you, then it can be beneficial. It could pay for expenses that are not covered with the first policy. However, generally, if you are purchasing a long term care insurance policy for the first time, you should be fine with only one policy. Most people do not end up using these policies at any point, so purchasing two at once might be a waste of money.
Can anybody get long term care insurance?
Not everyone will be able to purchase long term care insurance. With this type of insurance, the insurance company is willing to be exposed to risk with only certain individuals. If you are at a higher risk of needing long term care at some point in the future, the insurance company may not want to extend coverage to you. For example, if you have a history of certain health issues, such as memory loss, or you are above a certain age, you may not be able to purchase long term care insurance because you are likely to need to go into a facility soon.