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Long Term Care Insurance: What is it exactly?

Long term care insurance: Who needs it anyway? Page #1

Long term care insurance: Who needs it anyway? Page #2

Selecting the Best Policy  Page #1

Getting the Right Policy #2

Necessary Features of Long Term Insurance Plans #3

Long Term Features Page #4

Web Site Map

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 Long 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.

Some information from How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris 

Additional information and web page by Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate  Clinical Director- Senior Care Psychological Consulting

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