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 on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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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, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Who qualifies for long term care insurance

Much like health insurance, if you have pre-existing conditions or are a high health risk, then it is likely that you won’t qualify for long-term care insurance. Outside of that, just about anyone can purchase this form of coverage.

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Long-term care insurance is insurance that covers the cost of your care should the situation arise that makes it impossible for you to take care of yourself. This could mean long-term care in terms of a year or two, or long-term care that is required for the rest of your life.

While long-term care can include nursing home care, the idea is to actually provide care for you outside of a nursing home. This is typically a more affordable option because nursing homes are more costly as they require registered nurses, nurse’s assistants, doctors on staff and so on in order to operate.

To Qualify for Long-Term Care Insurance

As mentioned above, if you have a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes, cancer or other health issues, you won’t be able to purchase long-term care insurance. In addition, if your family has a history of these problems and you are deemed to be a high risk individual (perhaps you are obese, smoke, etc.), then you won’t be able to purchase long-term care insurance or you will have exceptionally high premiums.

In addition to having no obvious health issues, you will have to submit to a physical in order to purchase long-term care insurance. They will test your cholesterol, BMI, your blood for problems and so on. If something comes up that you don’t agree with, you can request and pay for a second physical to corroborate or dispute the original physical.

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When to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance

As you can imagine, the answer to this question is tough because it depends on your personal situation. Some insurance agents recommend you purchase long-term care insurance when you are in your 20s while others argue that you should wait until you are in your 40s. The bottom line is that you are going to have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself of when you should buy long term-care insurance.

There are a lot of benefits to having long-term care insurance as long-term care can be very costly. The cost of paying premiums for 20 to 50 years can seem quite daunting as well. This is a possible scenario for an individual who purchases long-term care insurance in their 30s and in the end you could end up paying $90,000 in premiums without ever needing care. On the other end of the spectrum is the fact that you could have an accident tomorrow that puts you in the position of needing long-term care and without a plan in place, your out of pocket expenses could be staggering.

The bottom line is, how comfortable are you without the coverage? Is this something that you worry about? If you have health insurance, then it is very likely that you have some long-term care coverage. While this might be more limited than an actual dedicated policy, it can put you in a position of putting off a decision until a later date.

The earlier your purchase long-term care insurance, the less expensive it will be. Again, this is the same principle as health insurance. A young person is expected to have fewer health issues and there is less concern that they will need long-term care.

According to the AHIP’s Guide to Long Term Care,  only 19% of Americans actually need long-term care in their lifetime. These are pretty good odds for the insurance companies.

Once you turn 65 years old, however, your chances of falling into that 19% increase by 70%. This means that if you try to purchase long-term care insurance at 65 or older, you are going to see a massive increase in premium costs. Again, much like other types of insurance, as you get older, your premiums will increase. How much will depend on your insurance company and how often they have premium hikes.

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How Much Long-Term Care Coverage to Buy

You should do some research on local long-term care facilities and home care costs to see how much the annual average is for each option. Then get enough coverage to cover you from the start of coverage until you are age 90. If you purchase long-term care insurance at 30, then this is going to be a very large policy with higher premiums. However, you can change your coverage every few years so that you aren’t carrying too much insurance for your long-term care.

If you don’t purchase a large enough policy, then your long-term care costs will come out of your family’s pocket. Medicaid only pays for short-term care, so don’t expect that they will provide you with additional coverage if you need it. Determine what type of facility you would want to be in or if you want home care if possible and make sure your policy covers that amount.

Before you buy your long-term care coverage, take a minute to use our free quote tool to determine your costs. You can see the costs of buying right now and even change the age so that you can see how much the premiums are affected by adding 10, 20 or more years onto the scenario. This may make your decision much easier to make. The quote tool is free and easy to use, give it a try now and find out just how much you could be paying for your long-term care insurance.

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