The Basics of Long Term Care Insurance

By Compuquotes Team on May 5th, 2008

Long Term Care

Long term care insurance provides important protection that can help make sure that you and your loved ones don't have to worry about the cost of long term care. Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, strokes, and other serious medical conditions often necessitate costly long term care. If you, or someone you love, falls victim to a debilitating illness, there is always a chance that long term care will be the best treatment option.

  • What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover?

As with all insurance policies, coverage may vary greatly from one long term care provider and policy to another. Before you purchase a long term care insurance policy, make sure you clearly understand exactly what is covered and under what circumstances coverage will go into effect.

Long term care insurance isn't a replacement for a traditional health insurance policy. Instead, this type of policy is a supplement to health insurance. Depending on how the policy is written, it may cover all or part of necessary inpatient nursing home treatment or home health care. Some policies provide a set daily amount for each covered period of care, while others pay a percentage of the total expenses associated with long term care.

Most long term care policies have a mandatory waiting period of three to six months before the policy holder is eligible for benefits. The best long term care insurance policies are written so that benefits become available if the policyholder finds him or herself unable to perform basic daily living activities, such as getting dressed, bathing, and preparing meals.

  • Can I Afford Long Term Care Insurance?

When you stop and think about how expensive long term care really is, the cost of long term care insurance is really quite minimal. Long term care can cost several thousand dollars per month. Most people can't even begin to afford paying for out of pocket skilled nursing care for any length of time.

The longer you wait to get a long term care insurance policy, the higher your premiums are going to be. If you postpone getting coverage until you develop a serious health condition, you might not even be able to get a long term care policy at all. When considering if you can afford long term care insurance, it might be better to think about whether or not you can afford not to have this type of coverage.

  • Where Do I Get Long Term Care Insurance?

Many employers offer long term care coverage as part of a supplemental benefits package. While most employers don't fund long term care coverage, it's common for them to make this type of insurance available to workers who choose to participate. Typically, you can pay for coverage available through your place of employment via payroll deduction.

The plans available through group benefits plans often offer the best rates, but this is not always the case. Before you decide, it's a good idea to check with your insurance company, as well as other insurance providers, to find out what they have to offer. Shopping around before choosing a policy can ensure that you get the best coverage for your money.

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