term care health insurance: Features of a good policy
Long term care
insurance features - Page # 4 :
Additional long-term care insurance features
of a good policy include.
A reasonable time limit. Very few
long-term care insurance policies offer unlimited, lifetime coverage,
and those that do are extremely expensive. Most set a limited amount
of days over a certain period of years, with higher premiums being
charged for each additional year.
If you are trying to figure out the odds, always
remember that the average stay in a nursing home is approximately 2
1/2 years, but the majority are for less than one year. That does not
include time spent using other services such as home health care
before entering a long-term care facility. Most people find that a
four year long-term care insurance policy is ample. Four years is a
reasonable amount of coverage without increasing premiums
prohibitively. Some long-term care insurance policies offer coverage
based upon “benefit periods”. An example of this type of policy might
be one that covers a year of nursing home care (at a chosen daily
rate), and then as long as there is a break of at least 90 days in
between, it may cover another year. Other policies have lifetime
limits such as a specific number of days covered, or a certain dollar
amount over the lifetime of the policy or a person's lifetime.
You need to check on the different benefits
covered for nursing homes, home care, and assisted living, as specific
policies cover different benefits for each type of care.
Flexibility. The market is always
changing with new options being offered. A good long-term care
insurance policy will have provisions to allow coverage of new types
of care or provision to update the policy for a nominal fee.
Inflation protection. If someone buys
coverage for say $80 a day, but does not really need the policy for 15
years, the price of nursing home care may have gone up so much that
this policy may not even cover meals at the time that it is actually
needed. A good long-term care insurance policy for most people will
include a provision for at least 5% inflation, compounded annually.
This type of protection is especially important for individuals who
are relatively young, such as in their 50’s or 60’s. Inflation
protection that is not compounded may be adequate however for someone
who is 75 or older.
Fixed premiums. Once a long-term care
insurance policy has been purchased and specific terms agreed upon, an
insurance company cannot raise premiums unless it does so for all
policyholders in a certain group of policy holders. They are not
allowed to raise the premiums on a specific policy. You should find
out about this before signing for your long-term care insurance
policy. You should probably also ask about recent premium hikes.
Otherwise, your loved one may find that just when they need the
long-term care insurance policy, they can no longer afford to keep it.
See page #5 Final essential features of a long-term care insurance policy.
from How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris
information and web page by Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist
Ph.D. Candidate Clinical Director-
Senior Care Psychological
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