Many people aged 65 or older are likely to need long-term care, whether they end up in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or need in-home care. Long-term care is necessary for older individuals who can’t complete basic daily activities on their own anymore. This includes individuals with serious illness, severe injuries, and other conditions.
Long-term care will likely require insurance of some kind. If you’re not aware of what that involves, it can become a pain to deal with in addition to whatever health or psychological issues a potential nursing home resident is already dealing with.
How to Get LTC Insurance
For starters, it best to research insurance when you or the said individual is in their 50s or early 60s before it’s actually needed, and before premiums spike or bad health prevents the option of solid coverage. Basically, the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be.
Also, once you begin shopping for insurance, do it through an independent agent selling policies from a variety of companies instead of one sole insurer. You’ll be able to compare policies to one another and find out which facets of each policy you’re likely to need (or should at least consider).
Keep in mind that the traditional, stand-alone insurance policies will be cheaper, but fewer people like them because of their history of spiking in price and having a maximum of three years of coverage available.
However, there are alternatives to older, standard policies. Hybrid insurance policies are more practical if money is going to be pulled from a savings account, or there is an additional life insurance policy with a high payout that can be rolled over.
Things You Should Know
There are some insurance issues to be aware of ahead of time. An overpayment is one of them. It’s possible to pay more for a plan that what you actually will end up needing for long-term care. This is why comparison shopping is so important, particularly of policies with similar benefits. It’s also important to be aware of what conditions and health issues are likely for you or the relative who will need long-term care. This will help you make a more accurately informed decision about what kind of policy you really need.
Premium increases are another issue. They’re often based on age, as the chance of actually making claims utilizing the insurance increases with age. If you receive an insurance notice about an increase in rates, you can sustain the premiums by restricting coverage or downsizing the insurance policy’s benefit period and daily benefit total.
Denied claims are something else to beware of. It’s one of the most stressful things to deal with concerning insurance policies. Be clear of what the policy does and does NOT cover in order to avoid denied claims as much as possible. Keep a paper trail in order to verify claims and quickly claim benefits.
One last thing – beware of insurers without enough financial power to stay in business. Find an insurer that will be around for years to come, or at least long enough to you to make policy claims. Also, check their history, customer service ratings and/or complaints, etc.
If you already have long-term care insurance and are having issues with it, contact OK Eldercare for legal assistance.