How to Buy Just Enough Long-Term-Care Insurance
As with purchasing any insurance-based product, choosing long-term-care insurance can feel like a daunting task. The good news is that nearly everyone feels this way when they begin the research process. However, there are some simple tips that can help you identify the type of coverage you need. Keep in mind that not everyone will need long-term care coverage. Like any type of insurance, you are purchasing an ounce of prevention that may or may not ever equal that pound of cure. But if you need long-term-care insurance and do not have it, the consequences far outweigh the risk you take in purchasing a coverage aimed at mitigating future health issues.
What Is Long-Term-Care Insurance
There is a single distinguishing difference between long-term-care insurance and other types of insurance. In a nutshell, long-term-care insurance is designed to cover other types of care that regular health insurance does not. You may find in your later years that you are still relatively healthy, but you begin to develop age-related ailments that make it difficult for you to perform basic daily tasks. People are living longer than ever before, but with longevity comes the challenge of maintaining one’s independence. Long-term-care insurance can allow you to afford certain types of assistance in order to maintain as much independence as possible.
How to Begin Researching Long-Term-Care Insurance
One of the best ways to begin researching what type and what amount of coverage is enough for your needs is to ask an expert. Many providers offer helpful tips on their website and through consultations with trained agents. Consulting experts can help you clarify how much long-term-care insurance is appropriate for your circumstances. Another great way is to ask your friends and family what process they used and who their insurer is. If possible, find a family among your close contacts that is already putting their long-term-care insurance policy to work, and ask them what, if anything, they would have done differently when they purchased their policy. You can learn a great deal from these types of hindsight-focused questions.
Purchasing Just Enough Long-Term-Care Insurance
The key to purchasing enough coverage is to make sure your coverage offers everything you are likely to need given your family medical history. For instance, individuals now more frequently add coverage for Alzheimer’s disease to their policies. As well, more individuals are opting to include both skilled and unskilled care. Also, be sure you don’t have to be hospitalized before your benefits kick in, and find out about any other clauses or conditions that might preclude you from using your benefits. You also want a long-term care policy that you can renew without threat of cancellation; be sure that your policy spans at least 12 consecutive months.
Finally, you need to read the fine print and ask questions until you thoroughly understand your new policy. Be sure you know what happens to your premiums as you age as well as what quality of life you prefer from options such as: skilled at-home care, assisted living, nursing homes or hospitalization. Each of these options carries a different per-day cost, and you need to ensure your long-term care coverage provides enough coverage that you can enjoy your golden years. If you follow these tips, you will be able to choose a policy that offers you the exact type and amount of coverage you need.