Heidi Mertlich

Licensed Insurance Agent

Heidi works with top-rated life insurance carriers to bring her clients the highest quality protection at the most competitive prices. She founded NoPhysicalTermLife.com, specializing in life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam. Heidi is a regular contributor to several insurance websites, including FinanceBuzz.com, Insurist.com, and Forbes. As a parent herself, she understands the ...

Licensed Insurance Agent

Jeff Root

Licensed Insurance Agent

Jeff is a well-known speaker and expert in life insurance and financial planning. He has spoken at top insurance conferences around the U.S., including the InsuranceNewsNet Super Conference, the 8% Nation Insurance Wealth Conference, and the Digital Life Insurance Agent Mastermind. He has been featured and quoted in Nerdwallet, Bloomberg, Forbes, U.S. News & Money, USA Today, and other leading...

Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 31, 2024

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LTC Insurance FAQ
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Should you buy long-term care insurance? No one knows with certainty if they may inevitably need long-term care, but long-term care insurance cost is certainly very expensive. Long-term care costs approximately $75,000 per year per person, and the expenses are almost guaranteed to continue to rise over a period of time. This type of policy can help with the financial burden that accompanies the need for an extended type of care and can reduce the monetary stress of you and your loved ones, should you develop a need for it.

A long-term care insurance policy might help with things such as shopping for groceries, cleaning the house, preparing meals, or even personal services like bathing, dressing, or taking medications. This policy might be right for you if you are planning to stay in your home but also in a nursing home. A licensed healthcare practitioner must certify that you’re chronically ill and prescribe long-term care services.

To compare free long-term care insurance quotes, enter your ZIP code in above!

What is long-term care?

Long-term care, also referred to as LTC, provides necessary medical assistance to people who require extended care due to a chronic illness or disability. Many people receive this assistance in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home; but, people can also receive long-term care in their own home. Some people prefer to receive assistance in their own home because it helps them maintain their sense of independence while other people prefer to be in an environment where they feel more secure, surrounded by multitudes of medical professionals. For the most part, where you receive your long-term care is a personal choice, although your doctor may make recommendations based on your needs.

Read more: Can you get life insurance with a chronic illness?

In addition to giving medical assistance, this plan of care provides personal assistance and community services to its patients. This can be very useful for someone who becomes incapacitated and requires some emotional support and psychological counseling as well as physical therapy. No matter what the physical reason is that you might require long-term care, you will most likely be in need of some mental nurturing as well. 

There are many reasons someone might need long-term care services. The most common cases involve the elderly who have disabling diseases, but there are no age restrictions when it comes to long-term care. Anyone who is disabled or afflicted with a chronic health condition might qualify. Typically, long-term care is available for anyone who is unable to take care of their own basic needs, known as “Activities of Daily Living”, such as bathing or eating. It can also include the inability to perform “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living”, such as household chores and money management.

People who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s, brain disorders, brain injuries, brain tumors, dementia, epilepsy, multiples sclerosis, neurological disorders, Parkinson’s, a stroke, or vision loss are all likely candidates to require long-term care. Many family members try to provide their own long-term care for loved ones but are simply not trained to deal with the physical and emotional challenges that come with the job. Untrained long-term caregivers that are close to the patient should consider seeking professional advice and emotional support as well.

What are the benefits of long-term care insurance?

If you purchase LTC insurance you can typically expect to receive a variety of benefits that are determined by the type of coverage selected. One of the key choices you will have to make when purchasing long-term care insurance is the amount of the maximum daily benefit. However, some long-term care policies will let you choose a monthly amount instead of a daily one to allow for some flexible spending in daily needs. You can also determine the amount of the maximum lifetime benefit, although lifetime policies can also be purchased.

Another benefit decision that needs to be determined ahead of time is comprehensive versus facility. Comprehensive covers more territory, including home services, whereas facility only is limited to nursing homes or places for assisted living. Most people choose comprehensive, although this is a personal choice that needs to be made at the time the policy is purchased.

Depending on your long-term care insurance policy, at home services that might be covered include monitoring systems and modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom or ramps for the stairs. You may also be insured for transportation costs to and from your doctor appointments. Most trained professionals, such as nurses, are covered by long-term care coverage, but if you are going to receive assistance from a family member or someone who is not a trained professional, they may be able to receive training through your coverage in order to provide you with proper assistance.

The type of benefits you receive from long-term care insurance depends on your policy, but standard policies cover skilled nurses, therapy, and assistance with personal care. Therapy can include speech as well as physical or rehabilitative therapy. In addition to services provided in your home, hospice care, respite care, assisted living facility or specialized care facilities, and nursing homes are all generally included with comprehensive benefits. Some policies also include household chores and meal preparation in the benefits, provided they are performed by the same person who is giving you your professional care.

How to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

In order to benefit from long-term care insurance, the policy must be purchased in advance of certain occurrences. For example, you cannot purchase a long-term care insurance policy for a person who already is receiving long-term care. Nor can you get a policy for someone who is already suffering from AIDS, dementia, or a neurological condition. Stroke patients and people who have been diagnosed with metastatic cancer are also unable to purchase long-term care benefits. Of course, you are covered for all of these types of conditions provided they occur after your policy has been purchased. Very simply, long-term care insurance must be purchased in advance of any potential needs.

The price of long-term care insurance varies with the age of the covered individual as well as the amount of benefits desired. Plans can range from an annual cost of $1,000 to $3,000 and payments can usually be made on a monthly basis. With many of these policies, once benefits begin to get paid out, your premiums are waived during the time that the benefits are received. Once the benefits are no longer claimed, the premiums will be reinstated. With some of the policies, your premiums are considered to be paid in full after a set amount of time, such as 10 or 20 years. Since there are so many variables and long-term care insurance is expensive, it is a good idea to shop around. You can get some free quotes now just by following the online steps on this site.

If you decide to buy long-term care insurance, review your policy carefully and ask questions to be sure you understand everything that is covered and everything that is excluded. The reason to have long-term care insurance is for financial security and peace of mind, so be confident that the plan you have chosen is appropriate for your needs. You have 30 days to cancel your policy and request a full refund. Once you have your policy, you cannot lose your benefits for any reason so long as your premiums are always paid on time or within the grace period.

Long-term care is difficult both physically and emotionally for the person who needs to receive the care as well as for his family and friends. Although purchasing this insurance coverage is expensive, not being able to afford long-term care and needing it can be quite frightening. LTC insurance should be considered much the same way you determine your other insurance considerations and it should also be a part of your money management planning in order to assure that all of your long-term financial needs have been addressed. The purchase of long-term care insurance should be made out of careful consideration and planning, never out of fear.

Case Studies: Long-Term Care Insurance Success Stories

Case Study 1: John’s Long-Term Care Insurance Experience

John, a 65-year-old retiree, decided to purchase long-term care insurance to protect himself and his family from the potentially high costs of extended care. He researched various insurance providers and compared quotes to find the best coverage for his needs. John chose a policy with a maximum daily benefit and comprehensive coverage, including at-home services and skilled nursing care.

His long-term care insurance helped cover the costs of personal assistance, therapy, and other necessary services when he developed a chronic illness. The financial burden was significantly reduced, providing peace of mind for John and his loved ones.

Case Study 2: Sarah’s Decision to Plan Ahead

Sarah, a 50-year-old professional, recognized the importance of planning for her future long-term care needs. She understood that long-term care costs were rising and could potentially affect her financial stability. Sarah decided to buy long-term care insurance while she was still in good health and eligible for coverage.

By purchasing a policy in advance, Sarah secured the benefits and ensured she would be protected in case she needed extended care later in life. The flexibility of her long-term care insurance allowed her to receive care either in her own home or at a nursing facility, depending on her preferences and health conditions.

Case Study 3: Mark’s Journey with Long-Term Care Insurance

Mark, a 70-year-old retiree, had a history of chronic health conditions and realized the need for long-term care coverage. He had witnessed the financial strain experienced by his friends who required extended care without insurance. Mark purchased a long-term care insurance policy that offered a monthly benefit and comprehensive coverage.

When his health deteriorated and he required assistance with daily activities, his policy kicked in, covering the costs of skilled nursing, therapy, and other essential services. Mark and his family found relief in knowing that his long-term care expenses were taken care of, allowing them to focus on his well-being.

Case Study 4: Jennifer’s Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance

Jennifer, a 45-year-old single mother, was concerned about the rising costs of long-term care insurance. She wanted to secure coverage but had a limited budget. Jennifer diligently compared quotes from different insurance providers and discovered affordable options that aligned with her financial capabilities.

She opted for a long-term care insurance policy that offered a lower premium but still provided essential benefits such as skilled nursing, therapy, and personal assistance. By finding a cost-effective solution, Jennifer ensured that she had some financial protection in place for potential long-term care needs.