Getting old isn’t a whole lot of fun to think about. But it is important. The chances that you or your spouse may require specialized nursing care as you age is more common now, with advanced healthcare and a variety of assistive technologies which continue to help the average lifespan increase. Long-term care insurance is one way that you can financially prepare for these needs. But it’s not something that a lot of families are familiar with. Here’s what you need to know before you buy long-term care insurance.
What Is It?
Long-term care insurance is a policy that pays out a daily benefit when the policyholder utilizes home care or receives care in an assisted living or nursing facility. It won’t cover the whole bill, but it does make a pretty good dent if you have the right coverage.
Before you begin shopping for long-term care insurance, know that policies vary based on:
- Maximum Benefits in Dollars
- Maximum Benefits in Days or Years
- Your Age
- Your Health Status
Long-Term Care Insurance Isn’t Just for Nursing Home’s
As you age, your independence and the level of care that you may require can change. You may need short-term assistance as you recover from a broken hip or a longer-term or even progressive arrangement. Looking at the data that shows how long-term care insurance is used, Almost three-quarters of all claims begin with home care (or outside of a nursing care facility.)
Statistically, You’ll Likely Need It
We know that you’re more than a number. Still, if you look at the data (and we do), almost 70% of the senior population over the age of 65 will need long-term care in one form or another. And the duration varies, but again with the data, the average is between 2.2 and 3.7 years. The average cost continues to hover around $4,300 per month. Long-term care insurance can help make sure that your health needs don’t drain your bank accounts as you age.
Several Factors Affect the Cost of Premiums
Like any insurance product, there are a myriad of factors that go into determining premiums. For one, your age plays a big role with the likelihood of a claim increasing as you get older. But on top of the obvious factors, you might be surprised to learn that gender, marital status, and carrier rates are all important factors as well.
Women Pay More
It’s all a numbers game. Women pay more because they claim more. Not only do women statistically live longer, but they tend to use long-term care for nearly twice as long as the average man.
Married Couples Pay Less
More simple mathematics that is easy to follow, here. Married couples pay less because they are splitting a single policy between two beneficiaries. The idea is that one spouse will care for the other which actually reduces their dependence on long-term care use.
Rates Vary by Provider
Every insurance company sets its own rates. While it’s important that each provider remains competitive, there’s a lot of leeway in what’s covered which makes it hard to compare apples to apples. Shopping around for the best rate is an important step before buying long-term care insurance.
Final Thoughts on Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is one coverage option that you may not be able to afford to live without. The cost of healthcare is rising and senior citizens, especially those over 80, are the most likely to need care. Don’t wait until it’s too late, get good long-term care insurance now and ease the financial burden on your family as you age.
For more information on your long-term care options, call our agents at PHP Agency. We’re ready to help you navigate this insurance product and make a well-informed decision for your future.