What is Long Term Care and Do I Need It?

Young people tend to think that they are invincible, that their age makes it impossible for anything bad to happen to them. Part of becoming older is learning that this is not the case and that our bodies will inevitably start to wear down after a while.

When our ability to care for ourselves diminishes, the need for long term care arises. Considering that 52% of 65 year olds will need long term care at some point, it’s your best interests to prepare with this future in mind.

The challenge can come in paying for this care. Long term care insurance is one method that can be utilized to help you pay for necessary long term care. Let’s learn more about this form of insurance and whether it’s a good choice for you.

What is long term care insurance?

Simply put, long term care insurance is a policy that helps you to pay for assisted living or a nursing home. The rising costs of long term care can make it difficult to cover on your own, while insurance can provide a safety net for you.

The usual terms of a long term care insurance policy is a daily benefit of around $160 per day. Many policies come with a 90 day waiting period, so if you are only in long term care for a short period of time, your insurance may not kick in at all. If you require hospital care during this time, keep in mind that you will still require health insurance to cover your stay there.

How do I qualify for long term care insurance?

Qualifying for long term care insurance can be challenging since it is based on both your health and age. Experts suggest applying for long term care insurance in your mid-50s in order to qualify. With each year you age, your average premium will go up. If you develop a severe health condition before you receive coverage, it’s unlikely that you will be approved.

Some of the basic qualifiers for long term care insurance include:

  • Being able to perform ADLs
  • No major diseases
  • No signs of major memory loss
  • Chronic conditions must be well managed

How much does long term care insurance cost?

Though the cost of long term care insurance policies varies based on your location, age and health, the average has been found to be around $2,700 per year for your premium. Through this may seem steep at first, it’s important to consider what you could be spending on long term care. The average cost of care per year is around $140,000, and once you start receiving long term care it’s unlikely that you will quit needing the care.

If you wish to leave your estate to your heirs, a long term care insurance policy is necessary. The high costs of long term care may require you to dip into your savings, pulling from money you intended to distribute after your death. You might also explore hybrid policies that provide both life insurance and long term care —- if you end up not needing long term care, your heirs get a full payout, and if you do need care, that will be covered instead.

When you or a loved one needs long term care, reach out to us at Culpepper Place.

We can discuss your financial situation and make a plan for your long term care that fits into your future.