Long Term Care Insurance

Understanding Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Long-term care is usually very expensive, which is why most people need insurance. For example, on average, nursing facilities providing skilled care charge $150 to $300 per day—more than $80,000 per year or more. Custodial home care at three visits per week can cost more than $9,000 each year.

Most LTC insurance policies will cover only a specific dollar amount for each day you spend in a nursing facility or for each home-care visit. Thus, when considering an LTC insurance policy, read the policies carefully and compare the benefits to determine which policy will best meet your own needs.

Full home care coverage is an option for LTC insurance and will pay for home care from the first day it is needed. It will cover expenses for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private-duty nurse up to seven days a week, 24 hours per day, up to the policy benefit maximum.

Many experts suggest shopping for LTC insurance between the ages of 45 and 55, as part of an overall retirement plan to protect assets from the high costs and burdens of extended healthcare. Longterm care insurance is also cheaper if you buy it younger, but on the other hand you will be paying for it for many years before you are likely to need it. So weigh your options carefully.

In the United States, Medicaid provides care for the poor or those who spend down savings because of care and exhaust their assets. In most states, you must spend down to $2,000 (not counting your home and a few other necessities), depending on the rules of your state. If there is a living spouse/partner, they may keep an additional amount.