Buying Long Term Care Insurance - The Step By Step Guide
A good long term care insurance policy could be an important step
to keeping you financially afloat if illness or another condition
prevents you from performing daily tasks. More than forty percent
of Americans who are 65 today will enter a nursing home during
their lifetimes, even if only temporarily. Many fewer of these
Americans are prepared to pay the high costs of nursing home stays.
A private room runs more than $200 a day, and costs mount up. Medicare
does not cover long term care, though if you qualify for Medicaid,
you can get coverage. Your private medical insurance will also
not pay for your future long term care.
To make sure that you get the right long term insurance, you should
ask yourself a few questions and follow these steps. First, you
must decide what kinds of long term care you want to cover. Not
all policies will cover assisted living or at home care, two options
that are becoming increasingly popular. Consider the additional
coverage for these, as well as the effect of inflation on long
term care rates when you decide how much coverage you want.
How long will you want coverage? Most people don't need a lifetime
policy. Sometimes private long term care insurance is used to cover
the gap until Medicaid can take over. However, having this kind
of insurance can increase the time until you are eligible for Medicaid
by up to five years. Keep this in mind when you figure out the
term for your long term care insurance.
Figure out if you will need a home care option. Medicaid does
not pay for home care in most states. This means that it might
be harder to avoid nursing home care if you are unable to provide
the funds to stay at home. Find out what Medicaid will pay for
in your state and plan your insurance accordingly.
Find out if it's possible for you to get a group insurance policy.
These will offer you more options and may be less expensive than
buying coverage as an individual. Group long term care insurance
is available through a number of large employers, as well as organizations
like AARP. If you think you have a membership status that will
allow you to take advantage of group insurance, utilize it.
Examine your budget to find out what kind of premiums you can
afford to pay. No insurance premium should affect your current
standard of life adversely. If only one spouse in a married couple
can afford long term care insurance, statistically, the female
partner should be the one covered. Women tend to live longer than
men, and have a 50% greater chance of needing long term care because
of it. Find out if the premiums for the plan you're considering
are tax deductible. Being able to get an exemption on your taxes
could save you a portion of your premium, making it easier to afford
long term care insurance.