10 Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping for Long Term Care Insurance

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10 Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping for Long Term Care Insurance

Certain medical conditions or health issues may require a long period to recover. Patients suffering from severe injury, chronic problems or geriatric health issues need prolonged care. This could be at home where care is given by family members or hired professionals, at a special nursing facility or adult care centers. This type of care is referred to as long term care and the insurance which covers the expenses for this care is known as long term care insurance.

1. Why Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance

A separate specific policy for long term care expenses is needed because a regular health insurance policy does not cover long term care costs. Medicare gives very limited benefits to eligible members. Medicaid offers long term care benefits but to only those who are impoverished enough to get the benefits. Long term care expenses are very high.

2.How Can You Buy Long Term Care Insurance

There is no age restriction on buying long term care insurance –anyone can buy it. Most people buy the policy on their own. These policies can be bought through your employer or an organization if you get discounted group rates. You can also buy joint policies where the maximum benefit amount is shared between the policyholders. If your policy qualifies for State Partnership Program, you can get benefits through Medicaid.

3.Coverage of Long Term Care Insurance Policies

You can receive your care in a variety of settings. Your policy should cover the expenses for the type of care you get.

  • Home care
  • Nursing home care
  • Assisted living costs
  • Adult day care costs
  • Costs for care coordinators
  • Home modification expenses
  • Any new type of care in the future

4.How Do You Qualify to Receive Benefits

Policies generally require that a policyholder should be unable to perform at least two of the six listed activities of daily living, in order to receive benefits from the policy. You should be aware of the conditions of the policy regarding this and also for cases of mental dysfunction.

5.When Do the Benefits Start

The policy will start giving you the benefits if you qualify and also have completed your waiting/elimination period.  This is the number of days after which you will receive the benefits from the day you have been certified eligible to receive benefits. Policies with shorter waiting periods have higher premiums and vice versa.

6.What Are the Expenses that Your Policy Does Not Cover

Just like you should know about the inclusions, you should also know about the exclusions. You should have clear information about the costs or coverage that is not included in your policy.

7.Including Inflation Protection Option with Your Policy

When you take the inflation protection option with your policy, the daily benefits amount will keep increasing with rising costs. You can choose to buy a simple or compound inflation protection.

8.When Can Your policy Be Cancelled

Long terms care insurance policies can be can be cancelled only if you stop paying premiums or your benefits get exhausted. All these policies are guaranteed to be renewed irrespective of the insured person’s age and health condition. If your policy has a non forfeiture option, you can get reduced benefits on the basis of the amount you have already paid.

9.When to Buy a Long Term Care Insurance Policy

Anyone can require long term care at any age, so the sooner you buy the better. Younger age and better health conditions will fetch you a low premium.

10.How to Start Shopping for Long Term Care Insurance Polices

  • Get a list of companies selling these policies and go through the reviews and ratings
  • Compare the costs and terms of a few companies
  • Read through a written statement of the policy you are choosing and make a list of your queries
  • Get your concerns cleared by a company representative
  • Take time to decide without hurry or pressure
  • Do not make any payments by cash to any individual for the policy
  • Review your policy within the stipulated 30 days
  • Take assistance from professionals or government agencies