Understanding Long Term Care Insurance

January 15, 2019 | BY PHS Staff

Here at Preferred HealthStaff, we know that aging can cause some new and confusing developments. Health insurance, for example, can be confusing enough, and now it may not be able to cover all of the services you need as you get older. Some employer coverage and Medicare simply wasn’t designed to cover anything more than a brief stay at a nursing home, so long term care insurance could be needed.

Long Term Care Insurance for Seniors

What is long term care insurance and can it help as you age in place in your senior years? Let’s see how to get a plan, what it covers, and what to consider.

Long term care insurance plans offer a number of benefits and some plans are more flexible than others. These plans can cover a wide variety of elderly care services that regular plans do not. Let’s see when you should consider a long term care insurance plan, how to get one, and what can be covered.

What to Consider When Looking for a Long Term Care Insurance

Your Age

Getting a long term insurance plan earlier rather than later may be the way to go for many seniors. The policies will cost a bit less when you’re younger. Also, if you develop health problems later on your might not be able to get coverage or you’ll end up spending more on a plan to get the same kind of coverage.

Your Finances

What does your income look like? What kind of investments or other assets do you have? Will you be able to afford premiums for a long term care insurance plan, even if they rise a bit each year? Talk to a financial adviser to make sure that another expense like a long term care insurance plan won’t adversely affect your budget.

Your Support System

If you have family and friends around that can be relied on if you need long term care, that’s something to consider as well. If they can support you in your time of need, you may not need a long term care insurance plan.

Taxes

Know what federal and state tax benefits you qualify for, especially when it comes to deductions for medical expenses. This can help you see how a long term care plan fits into your budget.

How to Get a Plan

Getting a long term care insurance plan is similar to getting a regular health insurance plan. You can go through a broker and buy an individual plan or opt for an employer-sponsored plan, if it’s offered. Some organizations that you’re a member of could also offer plans, as could state partnership programs that work with Medicaid.

What’s Covered

Home Care

Senior care services like home care are usually covered by these plans. If you want to age in place, instead of going to a nursing home or assisted living facility, a long term care insurance plan can help with the costs. These plans generally cover nursing home or assisted living costs as well.

Home Modifications

Some plans can even cover home modifications, like the installation of grab bars. In many elderly care situations where the senior choose to age in place, some home modifications are needed for safety or convenience.

Future Service Options

Certain long term care insurance plans also cover future services. If you don’t need a particular kind of long term care service right now, some plans allow you to add in coverage of new services later on. This is especially valuable for anyone who buys these plans at a younger age.