Long term care insurance is one of those things that you may not think about until it’s too late. After all, who wants to think about going into a nursing home? It’s natural to put that off.
But avoiding the issue can be costly, because paying for skilled care (whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home) is extremely expensive.
So it’s important to consider how you might pay for care if you are unable to care for yourself — whether due to injury or extended illness. Long term care insurance usually comes into play when you can no longer perform a certain number of normal daily living tasks — things like bathing, dressing, etc, with each policy having specific definitions that apply.
According to the Federal Citizen Information Center, a “a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that people age 65 face at least a 40 percent lifetime risk of entering a nursing home. About 10 percent will stay there five years or longer.”
So the short answer to “Should you consider long term care insurance” is a resounding yes. Definitely consider it, and if you do decide to get a policy, be sure you understand exactly what it will and will not cover before signing up. (Here are a few tips for purchasing long term care insurance, in addition to the tips available on the Federal Citizen Information Center link above.)
Keep in mind that the younger you are when you buy it, the less expensive the premiums are likely to be, but of course you’ll likely be paying them over a longer period. Premiums can usually also increase based on various conditions.
Long term care insurance is one type of insurance policy that I’ll definitely be giving serious thought to as I grow older. Several family members have had to have nursing home stays, so I know how expensive that can be. Some of the stays have been temporary, with the family member going home after recovering from an injury, and others have continued on until the family member entered hospice care. I’ve also seen how the insurance can help with home health care, which is a very nice benefit.
Long term care insurance can make a hard time a tiny bit easier by helping to reduce some of the worries and stress about how to pay for the care that’s needed.Posted in Insurance on 01.25.11 with 6 comments.