At What Age Should You Apply for Long-Term Care?

At What Age Should You Apply for Long-Term CareThe thought of getting to your senior years can be nerve-racking, especially when there’s a chance you may require assistance performing simple, everyday tasks. The cost of these services can add up quickly and may even threaten your life savings. Fortunately, there is insurance to help cover the costs of long-term care. To plan for a bright future, you must understand what is covered in this policy and how far in advance you need to apply for long-term care.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care consists of a variety of services to meet the personal care needs of people who cannot perform two or more of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL). These include eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking), and continence. You may require long-term care because of illness, disability, or old age – or a combination of any or all of these conditions. Long-term care services are generally not included in standard health insurance policies. So, instead of paying out of pocket for home care, assisted living, hospice care, or nursing homes, long-term care insurance will take on some if not all of the costs to ensure that you are meeting all ADLs.

When to Apply for Long-Term Care Insurance?

The best time to apply for long-term care insurance is while you are still in good health, but old enough to be able to assess your risks. You will most likely not qualify for long-term care insurance once you have been diagnosed. With that in mind, the best age to apply for coverage is in your mid-50s.

American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance reported that not only will applying sooner save you money on premiums, but you may even get denied insurance if you wait too long to apply. 14% of applicants aged 50-59 are denied coverage while 23% of applicants aged 60 to 69 are denied coverage. If an illness or accident happened causing you to need long-term care while uninsured in your 50’s, you would not only have to pay for the costs yourself, but your chances of getting approved for long-term care would greatly decrease.

Do You Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

To determine if you need long-term care insurance, you must consider your assets, health, family history, personal preferences, and if family members are available to support you. Say your family has a history of Alzheimer’s and since this disease is hereditary you should consider getting long-term care insurance to protect you and your family from financial burdens in the future.

Looking at the Costs: Massachusetts

Costs of long-term care are typically expensive, potentially making it difficult to pay out of pocket. For example, in Massachusetts, the average cost of nursing homes is $140,000 per year. If you cannot afford the costs of long-term care and you do not qualify for Medicaid, then you should consider purchasing a policy. If you are still unsure if purchasing this coverage is right for you at this moment in your life, review our previous blog, Long-Term Care: Should I Purchase This Policy? to see what this insurance policy typically covers and provides to those in need.

If you cannot pay for long-term care out of pocket and don’t qualify for Medicaid, consider getting long-term care insurance in your mid-50s to save you and your family from financial burdens. Make sure to purchase an insurance policy suited for your needs and personal preferences. If you have any questions regarding on how to apply for long-term care or long-term care insurance, make sure to contact us at TJ Woods Insurance.