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About Long Term Care Insurance

THREE WAYS TO PAY FOR LONG-TERM CARE

1. Pay for in-home caregivers and assisted living/nursing homes out of pocket. This is expensive and can often deplete a family’s life savings.

2. Meet a very specific poverty level and qualify for government assistance through the Medicaid program. Unfortunately, options are limited, only paying for nursing homes that accept Medicaid.

3. Buy a Comprehensive Long-Term Care Insurance policy. This protects your family’s assets from the rising costs of caring for someone who needs full time care. An employer might pay the tax-deductible premiums. Consider buying it at a younger age, when more affordable and accessible. It must be bought before a major illness strikes. Medicare and regular health insurance does not pay for long-term care. The average cost for a person who needs long-term care is $40-$70,000 annually, depending on where you live, plus the cost to the family caregiver who may have to leave their job.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR INSURANCE AGENT

–Is the coverage comprehensive, meaning it includes all levels of care: in the home, assisted living, board & care, and nursing/dementia facilities?

–What is the daily benefit?

–Is there 5% annually compounded inflation protection?

–What is the elimination period?

–Is it a lifetime benefit period or a limited time benefit policy?

–Is there a spousal discount?

–Can you hire caregivers privately as well as from an agency?

–Is the home care benefit based on a daily, weekly or monthly maximum, and if the benefit is not used, can it be used in the future?

–Does it cover home care coordination of services?

–How many ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) does it take to trigger a claim?

–Is there a time limit for filing a claim?

–Does it cover the cost of Adult Day Care & Adult Day Health Care, hospice and respite programs?

–Is it a tax-qualified plan?

–Is the company highly rated and have they ever raised premiums?

–Can you see the company’s published annual audit to check their track record for paying claims?