|Long-term care insurance: 12 questions
Those who aren't getting older
can skip this story.
Still with us? Good. You are getting
older, and at some point, your body will break down. Here are some
scary statistics: Studies indicate that as many as 40 percent of
Americans over 65 will spend time in a long-term care facility,
that more than 70 percent over 65 will use some form of home health
care, and that a year in a nursing home can cost anywhere from $40,000
to $100,000 or more today, with costs likely to more than quadruple
30 years from now.
Considering these factors, long-term care insurance
may be the most important purchase you ever make.
Unfortunately, long-term care insurance policies
are complex, and seemingly minor details can make a tremendous difference
in the level of care you eventually receive. You'll need to sample
a variety of policies, ask lots of questions and have your broker
or agent explain the intricacies of the policy in detail because
what may seem minor now could mean the difference between being
covered or not at a crucial time.
The following 12 questions will help unravel
the complexities and gather the information hou need in shopping
for a long-term care policy, including whether you should be shopping
for one at all.
Why buy long-term care insurance?
There are many elderly people who, due
to some physical or cognitive disease, are unable to care for themselves.
Long-term care insurance could potentially cover nursing homes,
assisted living facilities, adult day care, in-home care and other
functions that help us get through everyday life. It is NOT medical
insurance; it is simply for everyday life functions and living.
It is also not, however, just for the elderly.
If a person in his 30s were to purchase long-term care insurance,
and soon after become paralyzed in an accident, or be diagnosed
with a degenerative disease, he could then be covered for life as
far as functioning care -- depending on the individual policy.
What happens if I get sick and don't have
If a person is in need of, let's say,
a nursing home, and is without insurance, the home would need to
be paid for out of the person's assets. Government assistance would
usually not kick in until not only that person's assets were virtually
depleted, but the assets of their spouse as well, if that assistance
were available at all. Therefore, anyone with assets to protect
may want to consider this insurance.
At what age should long-term care insurance
It is sometimes advised that people 60
and over should be looking at this insurance. However, there are
a few reasons to reconsider this advice, and instead think about
purchasing it as early as possible.