When should I buy long-term care insurance?
Generally, your 50s are the best time to consider purchasing long-term care insurance. However, the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the more affordable it is likely to be. It’s also less likely you’ll have medical problems that may disqualify you from coverage. And one more thing to keep in mind—you can’t get long-term care insurance once you have a problem that requires long-term care.
What are the odds that I will need long-term care?
Here’s something to consider—roughly 70% of people over the age of 65 will require some type of long-term care service during their lifetime. As we get older our bodies break down, and it’s a natural part of the aging process to find ourselves needing assistance with daily life at some point.
Can’t I just pay for long-term care services myself if I’ve saved enough money?
Sure, you might be able to pay for it yourself. But why would you want to? Quality long-term care is very expensive. For most of us, it can drain a lifetime of savings and investments. Long-term care insurance protects your nest egg, helping pay for long-term care services without exhausting your assets or savings. You’ve worked too hard to lose everything to pay for long-term care services.
Won’t health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid pay for long-term care?
It’s a common mistake for people to believe they’re covered for long-term care services when they are not. Since long-term care is not considered medical care, most health plans don’t pay for it. In the case of Medicare, it will cover some health care costs for retirees, but only what is considered “medically necessary.” It isn’t designed to pay for extended long-term care and can’t be counted on as a resource to meet this need. And you can only qualify for Medicaid if you are very poor. Furthermore, Medicaid dictates the type, amount, and location of care and can only be used in limited cases to pay for an assisted living/residential care facility or home health care.
Can’t my children take care of me?
Think about that question for a moment. Have you thought about the real consequences? If care is for an extended period of time, could your children handle the stress on themselves or other members of their family? Do you want your children to have to pay for your care knowing they may be sacrificing their retirement plans or your grandchildren’s college fund? For many who purchase long-term care insurance, it comes down to taking personal responsibility for their lives and wanting to avoid becoming a financial or emotional burden to their children.
How can long-term care insurance address the needs of the GLBT community?
Protecting assets and personal savings from long-term care costs should be important to everyone. But, it it’s especially significant for the GLBT community. Many members of the GLBT community lack the traditional support that married heterosexuals enjoy. Also, many GLBT individuals are unaware of the penalty that exists for domestic partners when applying for Medicaid, Social Security and pension plan survivor benefits. Long-term care insurance covers a wide range of options for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, that help them cover the costs of long-term care when needed.
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