Some other important features of a good
long-term care insurance plan include:
It is important to look at when a policy holder becomes eligible for
long-term care insurance benefits. You must find out what the
"benefit triggers?" are. Most long-term care insurance policies kick
in when a person cannot handle two or more "activities of daily
living" or ADLís. These include bathing, dressing, eating, getting
from a bed to a chair, toileting and being incontinent of bowel and
bladder. A good policy should also cover issues related to memory or
cognitive impairment such as different forms of dementia, that will
necessitate some level of supervision. Some will cover care which is
deemed "medically necessary" such as when an individual with
congestive heart failure may require home care.
deductible period. Most long-term care plans have a waiting period
(called a "deductible" or "elimination"period), which means that the
policy does not really go into effect until a person has paid for care
themselves, for a certain number of days. The longer the waiting
period, the cheaper the long-term care policy.
A waiting period
of less than 20 days will usually make a policy much more expensive.
On the other hand, waiting periods of more than a hundred days,
greatly reduce the chance that an individual will ever put the policy
to use. A reasonable amount of days to wait is usually between 30 and
reimbursement. Most long-term care policies pay a fixed amount for
each day of long-term care, and then you pay the remainder. The
benefits usually run in a range of between $50 and $300 a day. Of
course, the higher the amount of the benefit per day, the higher the
cost for premiums.
Home health care
is usually covered at a rate of about 50% - 60% of the rate that it
will cost your loved one to be in a nursing home or assisted-living
facility. So in effect, a policy that pays $100 a day for nursing
home care will usually pay about $50 a day for home health care.
In order to
determine how much long-term care coverage your parent needs, figure
out how much they can afford to spend on long term care (or is willing
to pay). Now find out the average cost per day of nursing homes in
your area. If a nursing home costs $160 a day and your loved one has
an average of $70 of daily discretionary income, then they need a
policy that offers at least $90 a day in coverage. Also, you need to
keep in mind that nursing home rates will continue to climb, while
your parent or love one's income may not. Finally, it's always
important to remember that the rates paid for nursing home care do not
include some expenses, such as drugs and supplies and the cost for
additional services such as professional mental health and medical
See page #4
additional essential features of a long-term care insurance policy.