You probably do not want to think about getting old but it is a reality that not one of us can escape from unless we die at an early age. To prepare for old age, a lot of us religiously save for retirement, but oftentimes, we do forget to plan for long term care. Unfortunately, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at least 70% of those who survive to the age of 65 will need long term care. With the its costs running close to a hundred thousand dollars annually, the best option to prepare for it is to have long term care insurance.
Unlike typical medical insurance which covers services that are focused on prevention, diagnosis and treatments of diseases, LTC insurance provides coverage for assistance in the performance of routine activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, transferring and eating. Depending on the type of LTC policy purchased, coverage may include LTC services provided in home-based, community-based and facility-based settings.
If you are concerned about getting the best level of care during the most vulnerable years of your life and if you have the means to pay the monthly premiums, long term care insurance is for you. The risk of needing long term care is also higher among people with family history of a chronic disease so they should all the more buy LTC insurance.
Some people think that by buying late, they save on premiums. However, this is a misconception. According to Medicare, it is better to buy LTC insurance at a younger age to take advantage of lower rates. This assertion is corroborated by a cost analysis prepared by Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care. In their report, people who start late end up paying more in premiums for fewer benefits. Below is the table they have prepared.
|Total Paid Premiums until age 85||$75,300||$77,400||83,600||$94,100||$99,300|
|Value of Benefits (with 5% compound inflation protection)||$820,300||$642,700||$503,600||$394,600||$309,200|
The amount of LTC insurance benefit you buy should be largely dependent on your paying capacity and the cost of care in your area. If you cannot afford unlimited benefits, modify your plan in a way that will accommodate your budget. In the end, even a small amount of insurance is better than not having any at all.
To buy long term care insurance, you must first get long term care quotes from an independent LTC specialist. This way, you’ll immediately see which among the LTC companies offer the best value for your money. A free LTC insurance quote can be obtained at infolongtermcare.org, a website dedicated to providing LTC insurance consumers with comprehensive LTC information.