At some point in your life, you may need professional assistance with everyday activities, such as cleaning, bathing, dressing, eating, and cooking. This is referred to as long-term care. Just like all care services, this comes at a cost.
One way to pay for these professional services is through long-term care (LTC) insurance. However, before signing up, it’s essential to learn more about this type of coverage, including the best time to purchase a policy.
This post will discuss long-term care insurance and help you decide when it's time to find coverage.
What’s Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance can be a valuable tool when looking for care coverage for you or a loved one. This type of insurance involves numerous care services that aren’t covered by typical health insurance. Long-term care insurance covers professional assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, eating, getting out of bed, and more.
What’s Covered By Long-Term Care Insurance?
You can start receiving long-term care insurance once you can no longer perform activities of daily living, which includes the following:
- Using the restroom
- Getting in and out of bed
- Walking and moving around the house
You may also be able to receive payments if you’ve become cognitively impaired or suffer from a preexisting condition. However, policies may have specific limitations on the conditions they cover.
When To Buy Long-Term Care Insurance
Investing in long-term care insurance can be a wise decision, but deciding when to buy a policy can be challenging. Here are some considerations that can help you through the process:
Age and Health
One crucial factor in understanding is that the older you are when you purchase long-term care insurance, the more expensive it will be. Buying a policy early on can save you a lot of money. Also, if you have health problems, this can impact the cost of your policy — you may even be denied benefits altogether.
Experts recommend shopping around for these policies in your 50s or late 40s. To qualify for coverage, insurers may require a physical exam or professional review of your medical records. Other companies may only schedule telephone health interviews.
Variety of Insurance Providers
Before you choose a policy, make sure to do your homework. There are several insurance companies with different coverages, so shop for the best option for your needs.
One helpful tip is to work with insurance agents authorized to sell policies from various providers. This can lead to professional, non-affiliated guidance about the perfect insurance options for your specific situation. You may also work with a financial advisor who can help you decide which policy best aligns with your financial goals.
Are you planning for a significant expense in the future, like joint replacement surgery? Want to leave a certain amount of money behind when you pass away? Before choosing a long-term care insurance policy, these are essential questions to ask yourself. While some people focus on leaving money behind and protecting their assets in case of a disaster, others aren’t looking for that kind of protection. Be sure to spend some time deciding how your long-term care insurance policy will fit in the bigger picture of your financial goals.
Some people will look at their current financial situation and decide they can cover long-term care services without insurance. However, others feel that insurance is the best solution moving forward. Whatever the case, it’s essential to take a hard look at your assets and spending before making this decision. Some people may sell a second home or other assets to pay for care, while others rely on insurance. Make sure to find a solution that works for your current finances, including your future.
Another factor to consider involves the variety of payment options for long-term care insurance. For example, a healthcare savings account may be used to cover premiums tax-free. However, this isn’t offered by all insurance providers. Another option is to examine the tax advantages of exchanging an existing life insurance policy or annuity for a long-term care policy. This process can be complex, but it could make the most sense for some individuals.
Contact an Insurance Specialist!
If you want to learn more about when to buy long-term care insurance, speak with an insurance expert. Thousands of professionals specialize in long-term care insurance policies, helping countless seniors find the best option for their needs. While these topics can be confusing, an insurance specialist can provide much-needed clarity and peace of mind.
Contact an experienced insurance agent today to get started!