Risk and Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance
Sometimes called nursing home insurance, long-term care insurance is designed to cover the costs of care provided to individuals that can no longer take care of themselves. Such care includes bathing, creating meals, eating, and other activities that are a normal part of life that can no longer be accomplished.
For the most part, long-term care insurance is associated with seniors, but it can also apply to individuals who have experienced a severe injury or illness that requires an extended period of assistance until they fully recover. While only 8% of the population currently owns this form of insurance, the numbers are expected to rise as lifespans grow longer.
If you believe that this form of insurance is right for you, then you will want to get a policy that does the following;
- Covers debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease
- Covers one year of home health or nursing home care coverage
- A non-cancellation policy, applying to getting older, physical or mental deterioration
- A free-look period: This is usually a 30-day period when the insurance may be cancelled
- No hospitalization requirement
- No nursing home requirement
These are important factors in choosing the right policy because without them you might be facing considerable costs. Those who have policies with such factors enjoy considerable advantages in their care.
However, it should be noted that while there are definite benefits to this type of insurance, there are also potential drawbacks as well.
The most notable advantage of long-term care insurance is that it protects your financial assets. It is estimated that 72% of people who stay in a nursing home for one year become impoverished as a result. While Medicaid does cover those who go broke and Medicare provides limited coverage, the truth is that being impoverished is not a financial state that most people want to be in.
- Reduces or eliminates borrowing money
- Reduces or eliminates financial burden on family
- Provides choice in type of care
- Broadens the range of care available
Keep in mind that not all insurance plans of this type are alike. You should examine each plan and the options it provides to find the best one for your needs. The more you know, the better-informed decision you can make about which one to choose.
While there are definite advantages, there are also some concerns about this form of insurance that you need to be aware. The most problematic is that many seniors wait too long before trying to purchase the insurance, only to find out that they no longer qualify. This includes individuals with the following conditions;
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
There may be other medical conditions that are not covered as well, so it is important to purchase the insurance before the onset of any serious medical condition. The best way to know whether long-term care insurance is right for you starts with examining your financial assets. If you are vulnerable to having your savings drained by long-term care, then you should consider this form of insurance as protection for you and your family.