Long-Term Care Insurance Explained

Long-term care centers and services are becoming more of a necessity as the American population ages. Senior citizens can get the care they need to maintain quality of life either at an assisted-living facility or through a home health care plan. However, not all seniors have access to the care they need, and Medicare coverage is limited. So, what can seniors and their families do to bridge the gap?

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Originally called “nursing home insurance,” long-term care insurance covers skilled care and wellness services that are often associated with nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and senior care centers. Many of today’s insurance policies include home-health like in-home therapy, weekly check-ins, and/or regular healthcare.

One common misconception about long-term care is that it only applies to those who can no longer care for themselves. However, many long-term care facilities these days provide healthcare services as needed or for a short period of time. For example, home health services may include therapy as a part of recovery from hip replacement surgery or a broken bone due to a fall.

Long-term care includes long and short term services that help support seniors with basic self-care tasks and activities of daily living (ADLs), including:

  • Walking
  • Nutrition
  • Hygiene
  • Continence management
  • And more

Most insurance policies require proof that the senior is incapable of at least two ADLs. These policies have a cap on the dollar amount of coverage and years of care available.

How Do I Qualify?

It’s best to enroll in long-term care insurance as soon as possible so you can cash in on low premiums and other benefits. In general, the sicker you are, the harder it is to qualify for long-term care insurance, so it’s better to enroll when you don’t necessarily need a high level of care.

You may be ineligible for coverage if you have the following illnesses/health conditions:

  • AIDS or AIDS-Related Complex
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Stroke or history of strokes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Certain types of cancer

The most crucial step in the long-term insurance policy enrollment process is researching which policy has the coverage you need and whether you qualify. As mentioned previously, the sooner you enroll in a policy, the better.

Choosing the Right Policy

Do your homework! There are tons of policies out there, but not all of them may be best for you. Always speak to an attorney before choosing an insurance policy to make sure it meets your needs.

Here are some questions to ask before you enroll:

  • What preexisting conditions could disqualify me from coverage?
  • How long does the policy last?
  • When do the benefits kick in?
  • What will the premium be?
  • Is it a hybrid plan (including life insurance and long-term care)?
  • Will I need to update the policy? If so, how often?

By asking these questions, you will get a clear picture of what the policy can do for you. In your consultation with an attorney, go over the above questions to get a more in-depth look at the fine print in the policy to make sure you’re making the right decision.

Peace of Mind

The most important reason for enrolling in a long-term care insurance policy is peace of mind. You and your family can take solace in the fact that you are well taken care of and that you will continue to have good quality of life.

Don’t wait to speak to an attorney about your options. Protect your future with Aria Law, PLLC.