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Answers to Question about Long-Term Care Insurance

Quicken’s article, entitled “What is Long-Term Care Insurance?,” talks about the types of services covered by long-term care insurance. Here are the major categories of care:

A nursing home is a facility that provides 24-hour healthcare, rehabilitation, and personal care services. Assisted living is an independent living facility that gives patients personal care and other personalized services. Adult day care services is a type of program that provides health and social support in a supervised setting during the daytime. In-home care is when a certified professional visits the home or lives there with the elderly person to provide services such as bathing, grooming, or physical therapy. They also assist with housework. Finally, home modifications can be made to adapt the senior’s home to allow for wheelchair ramps, railings, and grab bars.

Paying and qualifying for a long-term care policy depends on a variety of factors, such as your age and health at the time of purchase. Many policies are less expensive if you buy them when you are younger and still in relatively good health. Most advisors recommend buying a policy in your 50s or early 60s.

Another variable is the maximum amount you choose for your policy to pay per day, and the length of time it will pay. In addition, there are optional benefits you can select to add to a basic plan. Many policies offer different coverage options, so since it’s difficult to know what your long-term care needs will be, you might want to consider buying a policy with flexible options.

You may not qualify if you’re in poor health or already receiving similar benefits through Medicaid. Likewise, if you have any preexisting conditions, you may be not eligible for long-term care insurance.

There are certain conditions that must occur before you can start receiving long-term benefits. Benefits will begin when you need help with at least two activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, dressing, or walking.

Finally, the most important thing to know when choosing a policy is to select one that allows a cognitive impairment as a trigger—a senior suffering from Alzheimer’s may be able to do day-to-day physical activities, but still may need help to do them cognitively.

Reference: Quicken (November 8, 2015) “What is Long-Term Care Insurance?”

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