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Should I Purchase Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance?

Long term care insurance (LTC) is a critical type of insurance for people with health needs such as permanent disabilities, long-term illnesses or the inability to care for themselves. LTC insurance can mean the difference between struggling for care and living comfortably. If you are curious about whether you could benefit from purchasing long term care insurance, think about your future health care needs. It might be worth purchasing LTC insurance early for peace of mind. If you need assistance with a LTC insurance claim or denial, contact an attorney.

What Is Long Term Care Insurance?

Long term care insurance provides financial benefits to policyholders to cover costs related specifically to long term services and support. This can include paying for an in-home caregiver, the costs of a nursing home, hospice expenses and other related long term care costs. Any type of medical care required long term or for life could receive benefits. The expenses long term care insurance covers depends on the policy and the insurance company. Some insurers will not pay for personal care such as housekeeping, for example, while others offer more comprehensive policies.

Individuals who are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living will benefit most from long term care insurance. These activities include getting dressed, bathing, buying and preparing food, going to the bathroom, transferring (e.g. moving from the couch to a chair), and walking. LTC insurance can help someone pay for professional assistance with these activities. LTC can pay a family member for looking after an elderly loved one, for example, or pay for a professional live-in nurse. It can prevent a family from depleting its financial resources while caring for a loved one.

Is LTC Insurance Included With Health Insurance?

Most health insurance policies do not provide benefits to pay for long term care. Medicare does not provide benefits for long term care, with very rare exceptions. Medicaid, however, may provide some LTC benefits if you are a low-income family and qualify for this type of coverage. However, Medicaid’s LTC insurance will only cover up to 100 days of care, and only if your injury put you in the hospital. Medicaid will not pay for constant end-of-life care. Unfortunately, long term care insurance can be expensive – meaning most people should review their lifestyles, health and insurance options before buying LTC insurance.

What Is a Good Age to Buy Long Term Care Insurance?

The younger you purchase long term care insurance, the lower your annual premiums will be. Most Arizona insurance advisors recommend purchasing LTC insurance in your 50s or early 60s for the best prices on premiums. At these ages, you are most likely to be eligible for a preferred-health insurance discount. As you get older, you might develop a medical condition that makes it more expensive to purchase LTC insurance—or makes it hard to qualify for this insurance at all. Although you might pay for LTC insurance longer as someone younger with a policy, you will pay less overall.

What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied?

It is common for LTC insurance companies to deny claims. Insurance carriers might deny long term care insurance claims for many different reasons. The company could cite policy exclusions, lapsed payments, missed deadlines and many other reasons for a denial. If your insurer denies your long term care benefits request, do not accept the denial without first speaking to an attorney.

A lawyer might be able to dispute the denial on your behalf. If your insurer says you or your loved one missed a payment, for example, your lawyer may be able to point out that the policy gives you five months after a missed payment before disqualifying you for coverage in the case of cognitive dysfunction. A lawyer may be able to help you obtain the benefits you or your family member needs for long term care.