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Long-Term Care

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What to Look for in a Long Term Care Insurance Policy


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When youíre considering long-term care insurance, itís important research the insurance landscape so that you can get a broad understanding of whatís covered and whatís not, even before you speak with an agent.
 
If youíre overwhelmed at the thought of long term care insurance, youíre not alone. There are a number of questions and outcomes you need to consider, and itís well acknowledged that it takes a fair amount of research to make confident Long Term Care insurance decisions.
 
Fortunately, there a number of free resources available online that aim to assist you and your loved ones make well-informed decisions about long term care.  For example, providers like Genworth.com provide access to recent Long Term Care studies and statistics, along with tools like insurance calculators and a Cost of Care Map, which provides a state-by-state rundown of long-term care costs.
 
Once you have sense of what you need to know about long term care insurance, then work with an agent who can give you a breakdown of not just one policy, but a cross-section, and can guide you through various policies and options.  In addition, every state has an insurance regulatory department to aid consumers and it behooves you to take advantage of those services.

Here are the key points that your policy should include:

  • One year of care coverage at minimum (nursing home or home health care should not be limited to skilled care Ė give yourself options)
    • This should also include intermediate and custodial care
  • Coverage for Alzheimer's disease (if developed after purchase of plan)
    • Consider this startling statistic from the Alzheimerís Association: about 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimerís disease; this translates to one in every eight Americans age 65+, and nearly half of Americans aged 85+. This is an important clause in any policy.
  • An inflation protection option to either:
    • Automatically increase the initial benefit level on an annual basis
    • Guarantee the right to increase benefit levels periodically without providing evidence of insurability

 

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