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Long Term Care Insurance

Many of us don’t want to think about struggling financially because we’re unable to work. Yet it’s a possibility.

Why it is so important

You or your spouse may someday need assistance with the basics of living. The phrase, "long term care" is used to describe assistance with daily activities including: dressing, bathing, eating, getting in and out of a bed or chair, and using the bathroom. Long term care can take place at home, in an assisted living facility, in a nursing home, or in the community through special programs, but no matter how or where it takes place, it can be expensive.

Odds are, at some point in your life, either you or someone you love—a parent, your spouse, your spouse’s parent—will need assistance with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, eating or moving from place to place. Whether it’s delivered at home or in a dedicated facility, long term care may represent the greatest out-of-pocket expense faced by many older Americans, but it doesn’t affect just our elders.

Even working-age adults may need long term care due to accident or illness. Or, they may find themselves in the position of having to subsidize their parents’ care—or even provide it themselves. The point is, no matter how the specifics of the situation may vary, one thing never changes:

The need for long term care does not just impact an individual. It affects the entire family.

Age is not a determining factor in needing long-term care. About 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime. About 40% of those receiving long-term care today are between 18 and 64. Once a change of health occurs long-term care insurance may not be available. Early onset (before age 65) Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are rare but do occur.

Unfortunately, most families don’t plan for long term care until it’s too late. And, since it’s a major health expense that private health insurance, Medicare, Medicare supplements and HMOs either have limited or no coverage for, the results of neglecting to plan can be devastating —both to your assets and to your dignity.

Long-term care insurance generally covers home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer’s facilities. If home care coverage is purchased, long-term care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It will pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day (up to the policy benefit maximum).

Private long-term care (LTC) insurance is growing in popularity in the United States. Premiums, however, have risen dramatically in recent years even for existing policy holders. Coverage costs can be expensive, especially when consumers wait until retirement age to purchase coverage.

Long-term care insurance generally covers home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer’s facilities. If home care coverage is purchased, long-term care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It will pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day (up to the policy benefit maximum).

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Private long-term care insurance is growing in popularity in the United States. Premiums, however, have risen dramatically in recent years even for existing policy holders. Coverage costs can be expensive, especially when consumers wait until retirement age to purchase coverage.

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