long term care insurance factors to consider before buying

by Guest » Thu Dec 11, 2008 02:31 pm

What points do I need to consider when choosing my long-term care policy?
I mean, I need the major factors that need some consideration while comparing the policies..

Total Comments: 11

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 05:33 am Post Subject:

In order to answer your question, it would be great if you give me a little information. For instance:

  • * Why are you considering long term care (ltc) insurance?
    * What will be the ages of the insured?
    * Any health problems of the insured?
    * Can you give me any insight as to affordability?
    * What state do you live in?
    * Are there any other policies in force currently, such as health insurance, annuities, medicare-associated policies, etc?

This information will help us give you much more specific information in return. In the meanwhile, here's some basic stuff.

All states have statutes and rules on the books that are intended to protect purchasers of LTC insurance coverage. That's why it's important to know what state you live in. There are additional guidelines issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) that just about every state either currently follows or is in the process of adopting as rule and law.

It's critically important that you deal with an agent that is knowledgeable about LTC contracts. They are confusing and offer a myriad of benefits that are gobbledy-gook to the average consumer. State and federal laws do a pretty good job of protecting the consumer by mandating that certain, but very important benefits and provisions, be included in the policy.

Certain particulars to consider that will affect coverage under the policy:
  • * The benefit period. :!: This is the period of time for which the insurance benefits will be provided. Most states have laws that require that a policy provide coverage for one or two years, depending on the state. Big-time effect on the premium.
    * The "elimination period" :!: of the policy. Think of this as a deductible in terms of time instead of dollars. If an LTC policy has an elimination period of 60 days, there would be no benefits paid until the 61st of actually having LTC services provided. This also has an effect on premium.
    * The policy MUST provide for inflation protection. :!: :!: Medical costs rise exponentially, and the policy must be able to keep pace with these rising costs.
    * It's wise to purchase a policy that provides coverage for all levels of care; from custodial care all the way through skilled care, including adult day care, hospice and respite care.

There's WAAAAAAy more to it than this. Consider this a primer at best. If you answer my questions I'll give ya more! :wink:

InsTeacher 8)

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:13 am Post Subject:

Teacher, what according to your opinion is the ideal age for buying the long term care plan? Supposing that the OP is in his mid thirties, would you recommend him for a long term care plan.

IMO if you feel that you may need long term care in due course, you should plan early for it and since the premium rate depends upon the age of the insured, one may enjoy lower rate of premium if buy the plan at young age.

I also feel that everyone should about the federal long term care insurance program. :D

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:40 pm Post Subject:

Hi, I told my cousin Jackie that I've come across this community!
He's only 48 and has started believing that he's too old for any coverage. I'm also in a doubt whether this would be his right age to go for long term care insurance. I think he had a minor cardiac arrest when he was 38...still would need to clarify with him. We both are from Tx.

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 02:07 pm Post Subject:

I'm sure, you'd need to be careful to know more about the services that are being covered under this type of coverage. There are various sources through which you may avail such services e.g. care-living homes, nursing homes, adult day-care homes. You may also opt for such care under your own roof. Now, different policies may choose to offer such services under separate facilities. Some of these policies may only render such care to you under a licensed professional.

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 02:31 pm Post Subject:

Dear brown_brooke,

Please look for your benefits before you choose your policy. Take a look at the worth of money that your carrier's gonna expend each day. Compare if this amount is by any means lower for your home than what it would amount for a day-care service.
Check if the benefits are good in return for the cost of your insurance. Costs may differ owing to your location and they are more if your stay is for a longer duration.


Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 06:38 am Post Subject:

Check if the benefits are good in return for the cost of your insurance.

You'd also need to be careful about the commencement of such benefits as well as the term they are gonna serve you. In general, such benefits would be credited to you through the life of the policy. You might have the option of enjoying these benefits for a stipulated period e.g. 1-5 years or may even enjoy an unlimited coverage. Remember, you'd need to pay more premium if the duration of these benefits is more.

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 09:08 am Post Subject:

My friend, you can't really be sure of the period till which you'd need your long term care benefits. Hence it is also important for you to note the elimination period for your coverage. This is the period for which you ought to avail ltc services prior to your receiving the benefits. Premiums would be lesser if the duration of your elimination period is more. But you'd need to make sure that the costs could be covered within the elimination period.
That's why it is really important for you to go through the paper works associated with your policy application.
Some of the policies would fix an amount up to which they would pay you through the length of the policy! This amount is stated as the maximum benefit amount. PalinRome

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:39 pm Post Subject:

I guess there's a disability threshold as well..you'd either need to fit into the criteria of cognitively impaired or else prove that you're not being able to perform one or more of the following listed daily activities:

(i) Stepping in the shower or tub or coming out of it as well as taking a sponge bath.
(ii) Being flexible enough to on your clothes and take them off.
(iii) Moving into the toilet and perform the daily cleansing activities towards maintaining hygiene.
(iv) Moving in and out of fixtures e.g. chair, sofa, wheelchair or bed.
(v) Being able to eat your food on your own.

You may need to prove your cognitive impairment through medical tests.

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 01:35 pm Post Subject:

There are also some unique benefits like the Inflation protection. Everyone of us are aware of the cost hikes across the health care industry. The automatic increase of benefits worth 5% that you see each year is the outcome of inflation. This kinda inflation protection would not demand any extra premium from you in return for the extra coverage that is offered to you. There are also some other inflation protection options wherein you may increase your premium as well as the worth of your benefits from time to time. Roddick

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:38 am Post Subject:

Thanks for the great tips, Insteacher

Well, there are various things to consider before you stretch your wallet for long term care insurance. First, you have to assess your needs and, of course, your health. Not because somebody needs it, you'll need it also. Check your previous health history, lifestyle, plus your family's health history. You can also discuss all these with your doctor. Next is your financial ability. Low income people normally avail Medicaid benefits; middle to high income earners usually consider LTCi. If you think you cant pay the premiums yourself then why bother buying LTCi? But if you have assets to protect and you can pay the premiums, go for it...

Always have a long term care plan with you and ask help from a financial adviser or expert.

This website is really cool http://www.completelongtermcare.com, you can find many tips and resources there

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