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How much does long term care insurance cost?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The cost of long term care insurance can be quite expensive, ranging anywhere from $500 to $8,000 per year depending on a variety of factors. Long term care can be very expensive and quickly dwindle away your lifelong savings as well as your assets if insurance is not purchased wisely.

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By purchasing an appropriate long term care insurance policy you can provide yourself with financial security in the event long term care is ever needed.

The Benefits of Long Term Care Insurance

People with certain disabilities or chronic illnesses are usually candidates for long term care. Long term care (LTC) means you are unable to care for yourself and therefore require assistance from a certified professional either in your own home, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility.

Persons requiring long term care can be of any age, although typically the patients are seniors over the age of 65.

The benefits of long term care insurance will depend on your specific policy. Policies can be written to provide benefits for a range of years, such as two years or five years, or even lifetime coverage. Benefit amounts range from $50 to $500 per day as the maximum payout amount for your care for that day, although most policies will let you flex the budgeted amount by the month.

For example, if your policy calls for a maximum benefit of $200 per day, you may be able to apply only $100 on one day and use $300 on a different day for when you may need extra care.

Another choice to consider for long term care insurance benefits is comprehensive coverage or facility only coverage. While coverage for facility care only will be cheaper in premiums, it will only provide benefits for facility care. Comprehensive coverage is more flexible and covers more services as well as more settings such as home care.

There are also numerous options you can add to your policy to extend your benefits. Some of these include handicap modifications for your home, medical equipment, monitoring systems, transportation, and even training for friends or relatives to help assist you with your care.

The Cost of Long Term Care Insurance

As with most medically related insurance policies, the cost of the insurance depends greatly on the age and oftentimes the health of the insured. Some policies offer inflation protection policies that can help keep your premiums low even when the cost of long term care increases. These policies usually have a higher premium in the beginning to help reduce the overall costs.

Since inflation protection can vary greatly from one policy to the next, it is important to pay special attention to what benefit you are receiving for it and at what cost. An annual premium for a 65-year-old can cost around $1800 for a policy with inflation protection, but $3,000 for the same benefits without the inflation protection.

If you plan to buy long term care insurance with comprehensive coverage that includes a benefit payout for all levels of care, then you may pay as much as $1,300 per year if you are between the ages of 40 and 49. The younger you are, the cheaper your premium will be, so some people choose to buy long term care insurance before they turn 50.

However, statistics show that most people do not need long term care until they are 65. If you wait to buy your policy until you’re almost 70, you can expect to pay as much as $4,000 per year for your premium. However, waiting until 70 to pay for the insurance is risky since you may require long term care prior to that.

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Buying Long Term Care Insurance

Buying long term care insurance is a big decision. As with all insurance, it needs to be purchased in advance of actually needing it, so you may pay premiums for years and never need the insurance or you may need it sooner than you ever imagined. Since it is cheaper to lock in a lower rate at a younger age, you may want to consider long term care insurance even when your senior years seem far away.

Review the insurance company thoroughly to make sure they are reputable and able to pay out your benefits. You may be paying premiums for 20 years before you ever need to start using your benefits so you want an insurance company that will still be there for you if the need ever arises.

Read the policy very carefully to understand exactly what is covered, what is excluded, and how your payouts will be handled. Every policy you encounter may be very different, so try to compare similar policies so you know who is offering a cheaper plan.

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