The Process
   
At any age, if you have assets to protect, you should be comparing long term care insurance policies now. It's especially important if there's a history of serious illness in your family.

It's also very important to apply while you're still healthy. If you do not have a long term care policy when you become ill, it will be too late. No Insurance company will issue you a policy after your health has deteriorated.

These policies are usually guaranteed renewable, meaning once you qualify, you'll remain eligible as long as you pay your premiums. Another good reason to plan ahead? The premium is based on your age at the time you purchase the insurance - and it's usually locked in for the life of your policy.

1. Can you choose the options that meet your needs?

With the better policies, the answer will be yes. It's important to find a policy that lets you make choices, so you can customize your coverage. Here are some key options to explore:

  • Location of care: in-home, in a nursing home, in an adult day center or an assisted living facility.
  • Type of care: skilled nursing care, custodial care, home health aides.
  • Options for size of daily benefit and length of coverage.
  • Flexibility in applying benefits (sometimes called, "alternate plan of care").
  • Choice of waiting periods before coverage begins.
  • Coverage of organic mental illness, such as Alzheimer's

 

2. Look into the company behind the insurance.

Any intelligent consumer knows to do their homework when shopping around for a product, and long term care insurance is no exception to the rule. There are many qualities to look for in a long term care insurance company. Ask your representative questions when they present you with an insurance quote bearing these considerations in mind:

  1. Because long term care insurance claims are often paid ten or twenty years after the policy is written, it's always important to check the financial strength of the insurance company. A low cost long term care policy is worthless if the insurance company lacks financial strength or credibility. The best way to gauge financial strength is to be sure the insurance carrier has received excellent ratings from the industry's major rating services: A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Duff & Phelps.
  2. Long term care is costly, and can range anywhere from $130 per day to more than $200 per day, varying from state to state and living environments. Make sure your policy provides an adequate level of benefit given your living environment.
  3. Cost inflation is inevidible, and choices that protect the consumer against the cost of inflation must be made at the policy's inception.
  4. Who knows where you will need long term care down the road? Policies should provide coverage in a variety of environments, whether at home or in a facility.
  5. Though policies are "guarantied renewable" (protecting the individual against increased premiums) carriers may increase premiums for a bracket or class of policy holders. Be wary of providers offering substantially lower premiums than other long term care insurance companies for the same level of protection.

By planning ahead, you're ensuring future peace of mind for you and your family. Long term care insurance policies offer a practical and affordable way to protect your assets - and your independence. Click here to get your free long term care insurance quote.

 
 
     
     
 
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