At some point in our lives, we'll have to think about our senior years. For some, their retirement savings are enough to live comfortably. But many aging retirees will need long term care assistance, which is why long term care insurance is worth considering.
As we grow older, it's not surprising for our health to decline. Later in life, some seniors might need assistance in completing basic activities like bathing or eating. Some medical care may go beyond short hospital stays. Unfortunately, health insurance plans don't cover this level of care. But thankfully long term care insurance can alleviate financial stress.
But First, What Is Long Term Care Insurance?
Long term care insurance (LTC) is a coverage that provides nursing home care, home health care, and personal daycare for seniors. This type of insurance usually covers in-home care or assisted living care for individuals age 65 and older. It is also beneficial for those with a chronic condition that requires constant care.
What type of services can fall under LTC insurance? (Policy benefits will vary)
Nursing home stays
Assisted living facility
There are different long term care insurance options. So it's important to know what benefits you're getting and at what cost. This policy can minimize expenses for aging retirees. While no policy pays for the full cost of an advanced and prolonged LTC event, it can still provide financial assistance for you or your loved one during these times.
The Cost of Long Term Care Insurance
The rates you pay will depend on different factors. According to the 2020 American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, premium rates can vary from one provider to another.
As of 2020, here are average annual long term care insurance premiums for individuals age 55:
Single male, age 55: $1,700 per year
Single Female, age 55: $2,675 per year
Coupe, both age 55: $3,050 combined per year
The cost of a long term care insurance plan will also depend on these factors and more:
Your age and health: As individuals progress through retirement, they may face more health problems. This means the premium will be more expensive. That said, it's best to get a policy for you or for your loved one early in life.
Gender: As you can see from the average annual premium rate above, women pay more than men. It's because they live longer and more likely to make a long-term care claim.
Marital status: Premium rates are lower for married couples than single individuals.
Insurance company: The rate for the same coverage may vary from one insurance company to another.
Amount of coverage: You'll pay a higher premium if you choose more coverage.
How to Be Eligible for Long Term Care Insurance?
Don't wait until you or your loved one needs long term care before getting insurance. It might be too late by then. Why?
Because eligibility for long term care insurance depends greatly on a person's health and age. That said, if you or a senior loved one is already in poor health, they might not be approved. Even if you can afford the premium.
It might affect a senior's eligibility if they currently:
Use of oxygen device
Use of mobility devices like wheelchair, walker, or crutches
Require assistance with daily living activities
Require assistance with transportation and shopping
Use the services of a home health aide or currently staying in a nursing home
Or if you or a senior family member has any of these pre-existing medical conditions:
Health underwriting standards vary from one company to another. So even if you or your loved one already have a pre-existing medical condition, you may still qualify for LTC insurance. That said, carefully evaluate and choose a provider.
Applying for a Long Term Care Insurance
We never know what the future holds. That said, it's best to consider getting LTC insurance early in life. And with different factors that can affect eligibility, it's beneficial to consider this policy while you're still in good health.
You can purchase long term care insurance directly from an insurance company. Or you can get one through an agent. Some employers also offer group discounts to their employees.
The important thing is to work with a reputable company or an experienced agent. It's also a good idea to compare policies before making a decision.
During application, the insurance company will conduct an interview. This can be done through a phone call. They will assess your health and may request a copy of your official medical records. For other individuals, the company may also request a para-med exam. A nurse will visit the applicant to take vitals or perform a basic physical and cognitive assessment.
The whole process may take a month or so. It depends on how long it takes to review individual medical records.
Need More Information About Long Term Care Insurance?
A leading provider of long term care services, like Unified Pledge, can also provide you with access to a licensed long term care agent at no cost. The agent can:
Review the current policy coverage
Assist with enacting benefits
Provide information and support for those who are looking into LTC premium rates
So don't hesitate to call!
And if you are in need of long term care services for you or a loved one, Unified Pledge has licensed professionals ready to assist!
Hiring professionals from Unified Pledge comes with the following advantages:
Level II FBI background checks of all staff
Driving history checks
Companions, health aides, LPNs are our direct employees and not independent contractors
Constant communication to patients, family, and care team
Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan