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Is it better to have long term care insurance or life insurance?

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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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Is Long Term Care Insurance or Life Insurance better?There is no easy answer to whether someone should have long term care insurance or life insurance. In fact, many people feel most comfortable having some type of both. However, not everyone needs to carry these types of coverage.

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Many people decide not to purchase long term care because of the persist voice in the back of their heads that keeps asking, “What if I never use long term care insurance?” The truth is that some people will not ever need to use their long term care insurance. Is this the majority of the people though? Probably not.

What is long term care insurance?

Long term care insurance (LTCi) helps individuals manage some of the costs that can stack up when they have health problems that affect how they function in their daily lives to the point that they need assistance to perform day-to-day activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, or getting in or out of bed. In LTCi lingo these are referred to as activities of daily living and define a person’s ability to quality for the benefits.

Long term care insurance provides a fixed daily amount to help pay for the costs of providing the necessary assistance to help with those daily needs. You can use the insurance to pay for nursing home care, hospice care, assisted living care, as well as home care and adult day care. Some elect to have live-in or visiting nurses or caregivers; long term care insurance can help provide this as well. If an individual is unable to clean his or her own home, the insurance can be used to bring a housecleaner into the home.

Long term care insurance comes in one of two ways: indemnity or expense incurred long term care insurance. Indemnity pays a set amount a day regardless of the cost of your live-in nurse, hospice care, nursing home, etc., charges each day. An expense incurred insurance policy reimburses you for the actual cost. On average, long term care usually costs around $200 a day; many policies, either indemnity or expense incurred, will cover somewhere around this, depending on the policy.

Both types of insurance, however, come with a maximum amount. No long term care plan, anywhere, will ever provide unlimited coverage. Many policies are for 2 or 5 years.

Why is life insurance considered a safer investment than long term care insurance?

Most people, particularly if they are younger, think that life insurance is a better place to put their money, and they are probably not wrong. If you have children who are young, or not yet finished with school, or are otherwise dependent, they will be your main concern.

If you are 40, you are probably not going to be too concerned about insurance that you won’t need for another thirty to forty years, if you ever need it at all. You will be more concerned about providing for your family. For the most part, this will be considered a wise financial move, especially if someone cannot afford both types of insurance.

If, on the other hand, you are 55 and have no dependents, then you probably don’t need a life insurance policy. Your concern is not leaving something behind; it’s making sure you are taken care of when the need arises. In this situation an LTCi policy makes far more sense.

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Can I combine long term care insurance and life insurance?

Some people are wary about purchasing long term care insurance because they feel it is so possible that they will never see any of the benefits from their investment because they will never need to use their policies. Because of this, some companies are now beginning to offer policies that combine life insurance and long term care insurance. If you know you would feel more comfortable with both types of insurance, then you may want to consider looking into these types of policies in particular.

Some companies provide specific policies that combine the two types of insurance, which make a lot of people feel comfortable that there will definitely be some benefit from their premiums. Other companies offer a rider to their base permanent life insurance policy that is often sold with recurring premiums.

The important thing is that you are covered in some way. You will want to carefully consider all the options available to you in terms of both health and life coverage and weigh them against you and your family’s needs. It would not hurt, either, to sit with a financial advisor or someone who is very familiar with these types of policies.

A good place to start doing research, however, is simply by finding insurance quotes online. You can get fast and free quotes for a variety of types of insurance, from whole life insurance to term life insurance, to standard health insurance and long term care. Compare the results and make an informed choice that makes sense for you.

Enter your zip code and get both long term care insurance quotes and life insurance quotes today!

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