Long term care insurance coverage can provide you with the insurance you need if you ever become incapacitated due to a medical condition. To qualify for long term care insurance coverage you need to meet certain criteria; otherwise you will not be able to buy the insurance and you will need to consider other ways of funding your long term care.
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They key to qualifying for long term care insurance coverage is to buy it while you are still healthy. If you wait too long and you already have signs or symptoms of a condition that could lead to the need for long term care then you will most likely be denied coverage. If you are denied coverage your options are limited, so it is best to decide if you are going to buy long term care insurance coverage early on.
General Guidelines to Qualify for Long Term Care Insurance Coverage
No type of insurance can ever be purchased after the fact. If you have a car accident you cannot buy insurance the next day and expect to have coverage for your previous fender bender. If you go to the emergency room without health insurance you will not be able to get health insurance to cover those expenses. The same is true with long term care insurance coverage. Once you develop a debilitating medical condition or a chronic illness that can lead to the need for long term care you will no longer be able to buy long term care insurance.
In general, you should qualify for long term care insurance if you can still take care of yourself with basic everyday necessities and light duties. For example, if you can still bathe yourself, get dressed, and eat then you already start to qualify for coverage.
You should also be able to walk without assistance (including a walker or oxygen tank). Additional considerations will be if you are able to handle routine daily tasks such as housework and laundry, basic cooking, and household bill paying. If you are unable to drive that would only be a concern if the reason is medically related.
Memory related issues can also affect your application for long term care insurance coverage. Signs of forgetfulness or confusion could be indicators of a disease such as Alzheimer’s and that would disqualify you from coverage. Other types of conditions that could disqualify you are listed in the section below.
Exclusions that Deny Your Long Term Care Insurance Coverage
Certain medical conditions will almost automatically deny you from qualifying for long term care insurance coverage. Medical conditions that are stable and not debilitating may be accepted by your long term care insurance provider, but other illnesses are considered high risk for long term care and therefore disqualify you from coverage.
Whether you are currently diagnosed with these conditions or have been diagnosed with them in the past, they will most likely exclude you from obtaining long term care insurance. Some medical conditions are more obvious exclusions from long term care insurance, such as:
- Metastatic Cancer
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Diabetes (certain types)
- Memory Loss
Other Options besides Long Term Care Insurance Coverage
While long term care insurance coverage may help you pay your long term care expenses, you have to buy it in advance of actually ever needing it or developing any condition that may require it. If you do not buy long term care insurance ahead of time, then you will need to find alternative ways to finance your long term care.
Most people will need to tap into their life savings to pay for long term care. This includes a 401k, an IRA, and other investment accounts. All of your assets can be used to pay for your long term care. When the cash is gone, frequently the equity in your home will be devoured next. In order to prevent financial devastation from long term care expenses, it is a good idea to have a financial plan ahead of time. Long term care insurance is one such plan, but you can also plan for it with annuities that include riders for long term care.
In addition to, or in lieu of, annuities, you may also be able to buy universal life insurance with an optional add on policy for long term care. This usually requires underwriting, however, so your health needs to be stable with no signs of incapacitation otherwise you may be denied coverage for that policy as well. If you currently qualify for life insurance with long term care or for outright long term care insurance coverage, then you should begin shopping for a policy now. You can get free quotes for long term care insurance by entering your zip code in the field on this screen.
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