What Retirees Should Know About Long-Term Care Insurance
“Don’t be insurance poor” is one of the cornerstones of personal finance at any age. Especially as you approach retirement age, you look for ways to spend a modest amount of money now in order to save a larger amount in the future. Just as young, healthy people should buy health insurance and life insurance policies, people of retirement age, or even younger, should buy long-term care insurance. The costs of long-term care, whether it involves residing in an assisted living facility or even having a home health aide visit your home every day, can be a major drain on your finances, even for people who enjoyed a comfortable retirement before their need for long-term care arose. If you need to revise your financial plans to make room for long-term care insurance, contact a Tampa estate planning attorney.
What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?
Long-term care (LTC) insurance is not the same thing as health insurance. Once you turn 65, you will be eligible for Medicare, which covers most medical expenses, including doctor visits, inpatient hospital treatment, and prescription drugs. LTC insurance covers non-medical costs associated with long-term ill health, which Medicare does not cover. These are some things that LTC insurance may pay for:
- Residency in a nursing home or assisted living facility
- Adult day care
- Home health aide services
- Occupational therapy
- Hospice care for terminally ill people
Some LTC insurance policies cover respite care (usually up to 21 days per year). Respite care is when an elderly person temporarily resides in a nursing home, even though family members usually provide care for the person at home.
How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?
Like health insurance policies, LTC insurance policies vary in terms of the services they cover and the maximum amount of money per year or over a lifetime they will pay for those surgeries. The price also varies according to your age and health, in other words, how likely you are to need long-term care in the near future. If you are in your 50s, it costs about $3,000 per year for an LTC insurance policy with a $77,000 policy limit.
Beware of the Exclusion Period
Some LTC insurance providers will refuse to sell you a policy if you already need long-term care, for example, if you are currently residing in a nursing home. Other providers will sell you a policy, but it will cost a lot more than it would have if you had bought the policy when you are younger and healthier. Many LTC policies come with an exclusion period, which is a waiting period after you buy the policy and before it will start paying for your LTC services. For example, if you bought your LTC policy in January, it might pay for services you receive starting in July.
Contact David Toback With Questions About Insurance Purchasing Decisions
A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you buy the insurance policies you need and avoid the ones you do not need. Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.