Thanks to modern medicine, Americans are living longer than ever. Nevertheless, as Americans age, many need long-term care. Some opt to live at home and have medical and other services provided at home, others choose (or family chooses for them) to live in a residential care facility. Either way, retirement savings can be used up quickly – spent on long-term care. The best way to protect estate and retirement assets from being co-opted by long-term care expenses is to buy a long-term care insurance policy.
Following is a checklist for purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. Another important use of this checklist is determining the type of long-term care (LTC) insurance that suits you best.
_____ Will the policy pay for long-term care anywhere in the US so there are family or friends nearby?
_____ In-home services?
_____ Residential care facilities (nursing homes)?
_____ As a fixed daily sum?
_____ Reimbursement to caregivers up to the policy’s limit for a specific service – such as $150 per day for nursing home care or $75 per day for in-home care?
_____ The policy has automatic inflation protection
_____ The policy allows for buying additional protection at set intervals
_____ The policy has automatic nonforfeiture protection
______ The policy provides for you to buy nonforfeiture protection as an added benefit
_____ If married and both spouses by long-term care insurance, is the policy is discounted?
_____ After you receive policy benefits for a set time does the policy provide for a premium waiver?
_____ Is the policy federally tax deductible?
_____If your state offers deductions or credits for long-term care insurance does the policy meet state qualifications?
The policy pays benefits for how long
_____ In a nursing home?
______ Nursing home care?
_____ Nursing home care?
_____ When you can no longer perform a specific number of activities of daily living (ADL)?
_____ If you have a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s?
This checklist gives you a handy way to compare long-term care (LTC) insurance policies. Before you settle on buying a policy it is a good idea to discuss your choices with your insurance advisor and your estate planner. The inner workings of these policies are generally hard for lay people to assess.
Make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions and are prepared with the right answers Contact Schneider & Shulman Associates today to speak with our long term care insurance specialists.