A Step by Step Guide
Here's How to Discover the Best Long Term Care Insurance Plan
This guide will show you exactly how to locate the best LTC Insurance plan for your location while avoiding the single most expensive LTC Insurance mistake.
You owe it to yourself and to your family to acquire this essential information. Get this guide today!
Table of Contents
1. The Single Most Critical Factor in Getting the Best Long Term Care Insurance Deal
2. Essential Long Term Care information
3. Does Medicare and Medicaid Cover Long Term Care?
4. Choosing Where to Live
5. How to Decide on a Long Term Care
6. Costs of Long Term Care
7. Long Term Care Glossary
8. Sixty One Ways to Save Money
Unlike traditional health insurance, long-term care insurance is designed to cover long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.
Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating. You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.
The cost of your long-term care policy is based on:
How old you are when you buy the policy
The maximum amount that a policy will pay per day
The maximum number of days (years) that a policy will pay
The maximum amount per day times the number of days determines the lifetime maximum amount that the policy will pay.
Any optional benefits you choose, such as benefits that increase with inflation
If you are in poor health or already receiving long-term care services, you may not qualify for long-term care insurance as most individual policies require medical underwriting. In some cases, you may be able to buy a limited amount of coverage, or coverage at a higher “non-standard” rate. Some group policies do not require underwriting.
What Long-term Care Insurance Covers
Most policies sold today are comprehensive. They typically allow you to use your daily benefit in a variety of settings, including:
Adult day service centers
Assisted living facilities (also called residential care facilities or alternate care facilities)
Alzheimer’s special care facilities
In the home setting, comprehensive polices generally cover these services:
Skilled nursing care
Occupational, speech, physical, and rehabilitation therapy
Help with personal care, such as bathing and dressing
Receiving Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits
In order to receive benefits from your long-term care insurance policy you meet two criteria: the Benefit Trigger and the Elimination Period.
Benefit triggers are the criteria that an insurance company will use to determine if you are eligible for benefits. Most companies use a specific assessment form that will be filled out by a nurse/social worker team. Benefit triggers:
Are the criteria insurance policies use to determine if you are eligible for long-term care benefits
Are determined through a company sponsored nurse/social worker assessment of your condition.
Usually are defined in terms of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or cognitive impairments
Most policies pay benefits when you need help with two or more of six ADLs or when you have a cognitive impairment
Once you have been assessed, your care manager from the insurance company will approve a Plan of Care that outlines the benefits for which you are eligible.
The “elimination period” is the amount of time that must pass after a benefit trigger occurs but before you start receiving payment for services. An elimination period:
Is like the deductible you have on car insurance, except it is measured in time rather than by dollar amount
Most policies allow you to choose an elimination period of 30, 60, or 90 days at the time you purchased your policy
During the period, you must cover the cost of any services you receive
Some policies specify that in order to satisfy an elimination period, you must receive paid care or pay for services during that time
Once your benefits begin:
Most policies pay your costs up to a pre-set daily limit until the lifetime maximum is reached
Other policies pay a pre-set cash amount for each day that you meet the benefit trigger, whether you receive paid long-term care services on those days or not
These “cash disability” policies offer more flexibility but are potentially more expensive
Using Life Insurance to Pay for Long-term Care
You can use your life insurance policy to help pay for long-term care services through the following options:
Combination (Life/Long-Term Care) Products
Accelerated Death Benefits (ADBs)
Many consumers are reluctant to buy long-term care insurance because they fear that their investment will be wasted if they do not use it. Some insurance companies have attempted to solve this problem by combining life insurance with long-term care insurance. The idea is that policy benefits will always be paid, in one form or another. These products are relatively new and the features are changing as the product evolves. The amount of the long-term care benefit if often expressed in terms of a percentage of the life insurance benefit.
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