What is Long Term Care Insurance?
Contrary to popular opinion, long term care insurance is not health insurance or even disability
insurance. Instead it covers the expenses of long term care services, such as those you’d receive
from home health care professionals or in a skilled nursing facility.
Long term care includes both the medical and personal care you need when you are no longer
able to care for yourself. This may be due to age or mental incapacity, but it can also be the
result of an injury or disability.
This care can range from simple tasks, such as helping you with meal preparation and other
daily activities to more advanced services such as rehabilitation and dialysis.
If you wish to purchase long term care insurance, you may be able to do so through your
employer and this is likely the least expensive option. If your employer doesn’t offer this type of
coverage, you can certainly purchase an individual policy through your local insurance agent.
Keep in mind however, that individual policies will range in both premiums and services, so
you’ll want to do a careful comparison before making a final decision. Review the policy
regularly and keep records of all payments.
Also keep a copy of your policy in a safe location where family members can find it. If you did
become incapacitated, you wouldn’t be able to point your family members in the right direction
so that information needs to be shared now.
Policy benefits range – for example, you can choose a daily maximum benefit of anywhere
between $50 a day to $500 a day, depending upon the insurance company your policy is with.
Some policies also have the option of choosing a monthly maximum to allow you more
flexibility with your benefits.
A comprehensive policy will offer greater coverages than a “facility-only” policy does, however
you will pay more for the extra benefits. You should also check your policy to see if it provides
coverage for in-home equipment, wheelchair ramps, transportation and other ancillary
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