In the United States, our largest generation is aging; when combined with increased longevity and higher ages among the older population, it means that many Americans are at risk of outliving their benefits and life retirement savings. While it would be hard to find anyone that would say that living longer is a bad thing, the reality is that it can cause a number of financial and logistical issues for those who do.
Fortunately, there is a solution: long-term care insurance, an important consideration for anyone who may need to live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Not only can long-term care insurance cover the cost of any long-term care needs that are related to age and disability, but it can also prepare for a future you might not be able to see coming.
What is long term care insurance and why do you need it
Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance coverage that pays for health care needs not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. This includes nursing home costs, assisted living facility expenses, adult day services, personal assistance and other types of long term care.
When you buy long-term care insurance, you are essentially pre-paying for your future health care needs. The policy will usually cover at least some (or sometimes, all) of the costs of long-term care, depending on the type of coverage you choose.
There are two types of long-term care insurance policies:
1. Indemnity policies.
With an indemnity policy, the insurance company will pay for any approved long-term care services that you need.
2. Benefit period policies.
With a benefit period policy, the insurance company will pay for a certain number of years’ worth of long-term care services. Once that number of years is up, the policyholder is on their own. Some benefit period policies can be renewed after the initial time period ends, but will usually incur a higher cost.
What are the benefits of having long-term care insurance?
There are a number of benefits to having long-term care insurance, which is why it is crucial that anyone close to retirement considers it as an option in their portfolio.
Peace of Mind.
You will have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about paying for long-term care services in the future, should you outlive some of your other financial means.
Immediate Medical Help.
With a long-term care policy, you receive financial assistance right away – so you don’t have to wait until your condition worsens to get help with daily activities and health care costs that aren’t covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Wide Coverage Options.
Long-term care insurance helps cover assisted living facility expenses, adult day services and personal assistance required for those who suffer from disabilities as a result of age or other health conditions.
What are some disadvantages of long-term care insurance?
Of course, in contrast, there are always things you need to weigh against when considering purchasing a long-term care policy.
First, long-term care insurance policies can be very expensive and usually require you to pay an up-front premium, plus a yearly premium after that that can continue for as long as your policy is still in effect. You may also be subject to a waiting period before benefits start paying out – meaning you’ll have to pay for any expenses incurred during this time yourself.
Also, be prepared to pay more in premiums as you age; premiums on long-term care policies increase as the insured gets older.
Finally, if for some reason the costs of long-term care exceed the amount paid by your insurance company under your policy, any additional expenses you incur will need to be covered by another source—possibly Medicaid—but it is not a guarantee. Make sure you talk with your trusted agent to determine where your gaps in coverage may be and how they can be shored up before you need them.
If you’re close to retirement, looking to plan ahead, or simply want to know your options in healthcare and other forms of insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to let us know. We at Penny Insurance are dedicated to helping you find the best solutions for whatever you need. Should you like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.