The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that approximately 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care. Contrary to what many people believe, Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care. Given the cost of such care, it makes sense to consider your options, in advance, about how to obtain the care you might very well need without exhausting your life savings to pay for it.
One such option is long-term care insurance. Here are some factors to consider regarding the purchase of a long-term care insurance policy.
Your age and health matter.
The younger you are when you purchase long-term care insurance, the less expensive it will be. Unfortunately, if you have conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, your application might be rejected.
It is better to have some coverage than none at all.
The very best plans, such as those that adjust for inflation or cover the widest range of services, may be prohibitively expensive. Experts advise that policies with the option to add services in the future may be a better approach.
Know exactly what services are provided by your policy, and just as importantly, what services are not covered.
Take note of when the coverage begins.
Most policies have what is known as a waiting period. During the waiting period, you will have to pay for services on your own before the policy kicks in. As you would expect, the shorter the policy’s waiting period, the more expensive the policy will be.
Finally, if you buy your policy through an agent, ask him or her these three questions:
- How long have you been selling long-term care insurance?
- How many policies have you sold? Fewer than 100 is not enough.
- How many insurers do you work with? The minimum should be three or four.
We invite you to contact our office for a consultation about whether long-term care insurance is right for you, and if so, what type of policy makes the most sense for your particular situation.