Questions to Ask When Looking to Purchase Long-Term Care

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is elderly-medicaid-1.jpg

As you or a loved one transition into your elder years, you may need more help with daily living than in the past. If you require assistance with tasks like cooking, administering medication, or other everyday activities, you may need long-term care. There are many aspects of the coverage to inquire about, and many people don’t know where to start. Allow us to clear some of that up.

What Does the Policy Cover?

There are many aspects of long-term care insurance that can vary between providers. If you have a pre-existing injury or condition such as diabetes, you should make sure the policy you are considering will cover you for it. You may also want to consider whether mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia would be covered if you are diagnosed later in life.

Does the Policy Cover You in Your Own Home?

Many policies only cover you if you enter a nursing home or other long-term care facility. If you wish to stay in your home, make sure that is an option. Additionally, you may need to decide whether you’ll need acute care or simple custodial care. Understand the differences and make the best choice for you. If the policy covers you at home, think about whether a homemaker service is included. This is for assistance with tasks like cooking and cleaning around the house.

How Does This Policy Differ From Others?

It is very important to consider the waiting period of the policy. This is the number of days that you are eligible for benefits before the provider will pay them out. Try to find a policy with a short waiting period, so you can get your benefits as soon as possible. Never be uncertain if you’re entitled to benefits by ensuring their qualifications are clearly defined in the policy.

Maximum Benefit of the Policy

Long-term care policies have a maximum benefit, which is the total amount of time or total amount of dollars up to which benefits will be paid. Common long-term care options include two, three, four, and five-year plans. In some cases, lifetime coverage is available, though it is considerably more expensive.

How Will You Afford the Policy?

Like other types of insurance, long-term care policies have a deductible. Ask yourself if you can pay for the deductible of the plan you are considering, should you ever have to pay it. Along with that, confirm you can afford the monthly premium payments of the plan. If you cannot afford either the deductible or the premiums of the policy, then that plan probably isn’t best for you.

What About Medicare/Medicaid?

For some people, there are other options than buying a policy through an insurance provider. Medicare and Medicaid are government programs that assist those in low-income situations with the cost of health insurance like long-term care. Depending on who performs the services, these programs should cover most long-term care costs. See your coverage options on Medicare’s site.

Long-term care insurance can be a valuable asset to have should you ever need it. Don’t hesitate to apply for it. The longer you wait to invest, the greater the chance you could be declined coverage. If you’re unsure at what age you should apply for long-term care or have any other questions regarding whether you should buy a policy, then talk to the experts at the TJ Woods Insurance Agency. We’ve been serving the New England area for over 60 years, and we’d be happy to help you too.