Long Term Care

Today, people are living longer lives than ever before. That’s good news, but the flip side of that is there are more years in which you risk serious health problems, and that could literally cost all of your remaining life’s savings. Unfortunately, ordinary health insurance policies and Medicare usually do not pay for long term care expenses. Medicaid, a federal/state health insurance program, will pay for long term care only if you’ve already spent most of your savings or other assets. To avoid the shortcomings of such a situation, there’s long-term care insurance.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

“Long-term care” refers to the many services beyond medical care and nursing care used by people who have disabilities or chronic (long-lasting) illnesses. Long term care insurance helps you pay for these services, which can be very expensive. A policy also ensures that you can make your own choices about what long term care services you receive and where you receive them.

What does it cover?

Long term care insurance typically covers the cost of:

  • Help in your home with daily activities like bathing, dressing, eating and cleaning
  • Community programs, such as adult daycare
  • Assisted-living services that are provided in a special residential setting other than your own home. These services may include meals, health monitoring and help with daily activities
  • Visiting nurses
  • Care in a nursing home

When should I get it?

Many people don’t think about long-term care until they get into their 70s and 80s and their health begins to fail. At these ages, you may be too high a risk for an insurer to cover you—or if you do qualify, the premiums can be astronomical. In fact, some long-term care insurance policies have restrictions on age and health status.  The best time to buy long-term care insurance may be middle age. It’s the time when you have the highest likelihood of being eligible for a policy and, just as important, when premium costs might be lower.