A Guide To Buying Long Term Health Insurance

Nobody wants to need long term health insurance.  We want to stay healthy and self-sufficient as we age. But as our population is growing older and living longer, statistics indicate that most Americans will either have a relative in need of long term assistance or eventually need it themselves.

Paying for long term health care costs out-of-pocket for yourself or for a relative will quickly drain even the healthiest bank account.

Although finding a good long term health insurance plan can be challenging, it is a good idea to look for insurance that is appropriate and affordable.

A Guide to Buying Long Term Health Insurance

Know the best time to buy. Although the insurance industry recommends people purchase long term health insurance when they're young (40's), there is no guarantee your provider will be around when you need it, that the premiums you pay now will remain where they are and not escalate stratospherically, and that the coverage you purchase will be enough to cover the benefits you'll need when you need them.

If you have a chronic condition such as arthritis or diabetes that can become more debilitating over time, it might be beneficial to look at long term health insurance when you're between the ages of fifty and sixty. Otherwise, health insurance experts suggest you wait to purchase long term health insurance until around age 65 and before age 70.  After age 70, the premiums might become unaffordable and your health may not allow you to qualify.

The majority of people purchasing long term health insurance will need it twenty or more years into the future. The average age of people who are unable to take care of themselves unassisted is well past 80. Consider only long term health insurance from a health insurance company that receives high "financial safety" marks from insurance raters.

Get a policy that has flexible coverage, requiring that the beneficiary need assistance in no more than two daily living activities, and make sure that one of these daily living activities is bathing. The daily task most people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities need help with is bathing.

The policy should also have a built-in annual benefit increase to match the anticipated annual 5.6% increase in cost of long term care.  This benefit could drastically increase the cost of your long term health insurance premiums, but ultimately save you out-of-pocket.

Know the costs of the nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home nursing in your area so you can make sure the long term policy you purchase will be sufficient.


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