Long Term Care Insurance. It’s a subject most people don’t want to think about—but many people know they need to. At first blush, policies that help pay the costs of extended nursing care make perfect sense. Bills add up quickly when you can no longer take care of yourself and your needs exceed what family and friends can provide. Nursing homes, assisted-living centers and home care all are expensive, and there is no telling for how long you may need the service. Buying a long-term-care insurance policy can be a way of making sure your future physical needs will be met. Policies designed in partnership with state governments also give individuals and their families a way to protect savings in the event of burdensome care costs that stretch on for years. The biggest misconception is that Medicare covers long-term care. It does not. Medicaid, meanwhile, pays for various kinds and amounts of long-term-care services and support—for the poor. But many states are cutting back on Medicaid benefits, and access to good care is always uncertain. What about consumers with midlevel savings—in other words, most people? These consumers need long-term-care insurance the most. They tend to have too little savings to pay for even a couple of years of care without impoverishing themselves and their families, and too much to qualify for Medicaid. The best time to buy long-term care insurance is between ages 55 and 64. After that, health complications often hinder or even negate people’s ability to get coverage.
A number of considerations go into how much insurance any consumer should buy. In many areas of the country, nursing homes cost as much as $300 a day and assisted living facilities can cost more than half that amount. Home care can be less or more expensive, depending on the amount and level of care required. One easy way to calculate a daily benefit is to take the average cost of care where you live or are likely to live when needing care and subtract from that your daily income. If, for instance, nursing homes cost $300 a day and your income is $3,000 a month, or $100 a day, then your daily benefit should be $200 a day. Remember: the insurance policy only covers care expenses; you will need to rely upon savings or other income sources to pay for other expenses, such as food and utilities. The next factor is what period of time the policy covers. The shortest period of coverage available is two years. But policies can be purchased for longer periods of time or for the insured’s lifetime. Of course, the longer the policy’s coverage period, the higher the premium.
If you are considering long-term care insurance, you need to consult with a qualified professional to determine whether you can afford this type of coverage and whether the policy you are considering meets necessary standards. Call Mintco Financial at 813-964-7100 or get a quote at long term care planning/ Mintco Financial Team of Independent Advisors are specialiazed in Long Term Care Insurance and will be glad to help you to understand it and analyze if it is right for you.