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Long term care insurance is a specially-designed insurance product that helps you cover long-term health services and support. A Long Term Care Insurance policy will pay out benefits for care received at home, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Specific insurance benefits will be defined by your policy itself, but there are some common types of care that are covered under long-term care insurance policies. Those include skilled care, intermediate care and custodial care.
Many long-term care insurance policies also provide coverage for care and assistance in your own home. Covered services often include homemaking and chores, providing help for those who aren’t able to handle things like cooking, bathing and transitioning on their own but want to remain in their own homes.
Policies may also cover alternate care, including medically-necessary modifications to your home so you can stay there as long as possible. Policies may also provide benefits for respite care, adult daycare and assisted living expenses.
There is usually not a single event that signifies the need for long term care insurance, however, there are some signs that should indicate it’s time to talk to an insurance professional about protecting the assets you’ve worked a lifetime to accumulate.
1. Age. The earlier you purchase long term care insurance, the cheaper coverage will be. Your late 30’s are an ideal time to buy. If you are in your 50s, it’s definitely time to evaluate your options and needs for long term care insurance.
2. Family Health History. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, dementia or physical ailments such as strokes, purchasing a long term care policy probably makes sense.
3. Assets. People with accumulated assets of at least $150,000 or more (not counting homes and vehicles) should investigate long term care coverage.
4. Frugal. Being frugal is a good thing – after all, it’s what helped you accumulate your nest egg in the first place. However, if you are not spending money out of a fear that you may need it to pay for your own nursing home care in the future, you should look into buying a long term care policy.
5. Specific Care Wishes. For people who know that they would want to receive care in a certain assisted living facility or long term care unit, buying long term care insurance is smart. Some facilities are strictly “private pay” while others require people to pay from their own pockets (or insurance) for a minimum period of time before they’ll accept payment from government programs. Think of a long term care policy as a ticket to the care you want.