Guide to Long Term Care Insurance
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about 9 million Americans, now 65 or older, will require long term care. HHS expects that number to rise by 25 percent to 12 million by 2020. With health care costs rising and longer life expectancies, funding long-term care needs is an increasing concern for millions of people, especially senior citizens.
The average annual cost of nursing home care is $74,806, according to Genworth Financial’s 2007 Cost of Care Survey, but that figure can fluctuate depending on the level of care required, and the state in which the care is provided.
However, it is important to remember that when planning for long -term care, the focus should not be on the cost of care currently, but what care will cost when it is most likely needed. That may be 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, or longer.
Now let’s consider five essentials regarding long term care insurance.
1. There are different types of provisions in long term care insurance
The type of long term care that is provided depends on the patient’s medical necessity, psychosocial needs, and financial situation. Types of long term care include: skilled nursing, intermediate, custodial home-based and hospice care.
2. Policyholders must meet certain conditions to receive benefits.
Long term care benefits begin when policyholders meet certain conditions. A licensed professional performs an assessment to determine if there is a medical necessity for long term care. Medical necessity is generally defined as an inability to perform daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, or eating, due to severe physical limitations or cognitive impairments.
3. The type of policy and the needs of the individual determine the cost of long term care insurance.
Annual premiums can vary significantly depending on your age, health, and the type of policy, but policies can run as high as $5,000 or more per year, However, you do not have to pay that much. Your premium could be reduced by choosing a shorter benefit period, buying at a younger age, sharing care, choosing a longer elimination period, reducing the daily benefits, and including inflation protection.