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November is National Long Term Care Awareness Month

By Byron Udell | November 1, 2013

November is National Long-Term Care Awareness (LTC) month.  If you’ve never considered LTC insurance, take some time now to go through the facts and consider these tips.

LTC insurance is not as expensive as you might think.  Today, LTC providers are doing all they can to make LTC insurance affordable.  They’ve come up with several convenient offerings such as:

  • Adding a LTC rider to your life insurance policy.  Your life insurance policy will cover LTC expenses, if you need it, and that amount will be deducted from your final death benefits.
  • Married couples with separate policies can share a plan.  If a spouse dies without using LTC benefits, these benefits pass on to the surviving spouse.

LTC costs are formidable.  If you ever need long term care, the costs are significant and could quickly eat up your savings.  Did you know the average cost of being in a nursing home is more than $80,000 per year and hiring a licensed home health aide is about $20 an hour?

Medicare and Medicaid may not cover LTC costs.  You need to qualify to be eligible for Medicaid – it is only available to people whose assets fall in below a certain bracket.  Medicare only covers skilled care. Your health insurance does not cover long term care costs.

Your family may not be able to provide care long term.  Many families are strapped for cash and may take on the part of the caregiver. This can be extremely taxing especially if it is done for a long period of time.  There are cases, too, when family may not be available due to jobs or other commitments that have taken them far from home.  For these reasons and more, it makes sense to consider putting a LTC policy in place now.

Longevity is on the rise and so is the number of chronic diseases.  People are living longer these days.  In 2010, the number of people aged 65 and older accounted for 13 percent of the United States population.  This is expected to rise to 20 percent by the year 2020.

According to the National Nursing Home Survey, the number of people aged 65 and older living in nursing homes in 2004 was 1.3 million.  The number of people requiring home health care in 2004 was 1 million.  These numbers are expected to keep growing.

Consider the exclusion period carefully.  Many people choose the 90-day exclusion rule which qualifies you for a cheaper policy.  Statistics show that 70 percent of those living in nursing homes are discharged within 90 days.  If your exclusion period is 90 days, you will qualify for benefits only if your stay is more than 90 days.

The best time to buy is around age 55.  This is the time when you can fairly gauge your assets as you look forward to retiring.  In the end, you need to find an affordable policy that works for your health profile.  If you have a family history of age-related ailments, you might want to consider increasing your Maximum Daily Benefit (MDB).  If you need help in choosing the right policy for your needs, go ahead and contact us at AccuQuote.  One of our unbiased advisors can guide you through this important decision.

We only work with highly rated insurance companies – brand names you trust. You may be able to save money without sacrificing quality and strength.