Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?

long term care aide with an elderly residentIf you become too ill or frail to live at home or in an assisted living residence, you may need to move to a long-term care facility that provides 24-hour assistance, monitoring and nursing care. Long Term Care insurance (LTC), also known as nursing home insurance, is a widely publicized protection against the cost of long-term care, particularly residential facilities. Before purchasing a Long Term Care insurance plan, there are many factors to consider.

The Advantages of Long Term Care Insurance

You can never know if and when you might need to stay in a long-term care facility. There might come a day when you will need the type of medical attention that only a residential care facility can provide. Fees for such care will only be covered out of pocket or by a Long Term Care insurance plan.

If you purchase Long Term Care insurance today, you will not have to shoulder all of the cost yourself when you need it later. Further, if you start your coverage early, you may be assured of lower premiums throughout the life of your policy. Some plans also offer the option of insuring a spouse or partner for a discounted rate.

The Disadvantages of Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care insurance is expensive. The average cost of a long-term care facility in New York is more than $100,000 per year and expected to increase four times by 2030. But while residents of long-term care facilities are paying more, many insurers are giving less – adding more restrictions and limitations on what they pay out. In most cases, the benefits are so limited that they are rarely enough to cover the total cost of staying in the facility.

Still, insurance companies market Long Term Care insurance by playing on people’s fear of having to spend years in a long-term care facility that result in them wiping out their savings and ending up homeless. But, the odds of needing long-term care are much lower than the insurance industry would like you to believe.

It is estimated that more than 70 percent of all nursing home residents in New York receive Medicaid, which provides certain protections against the risk of being thrown out of the nursing home because of lack of funds.

So, when you weigh the cost of Long Term Care insurance against what these policies typically pay out and the odds of needing it someday, you may find that the insurance is not worth it. In fact, only 5 percent of all Americans over the age of 65 have made the choice to purchase Long Term Care insurance.

Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance

If you are considering Long Term Care insurance, purchase with care. Don’t rely on advice from the insurance provider, who is simply trying to win your business. Check consumer reports and consult with the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care Program, which offers some of the best terms available. Make a comparison of many different policies and be sure to check each one for any exclusions and limitations that may apply.  Finally, when buying Long Term Care insurance, never sign up for any policy that you can’t afford – always stay within your budget.

Need Help Deciding?

Do you need help deciding if Long Term Care insurance is right for you? Consult with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. today. Call 516-605-0625 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. If you already have a loved one in a nursing home and he or she is not getting the quality care that’s deserved, don’t hesitate to speak up on his or her behalf.

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