Long-term care – care in a nursing home or at home -- may be paid for in four main ways:
Determining whether you need long-term care insurance depends, in part, on your financial situation. The cost of a long-term care insurance policy varies considerably, depending on your age when you purchase the policy, the benefit period, and the level of benefits, among other things, but the premiums can be expensive. Therefore, if you have the resources to self-insure your long-term care and still have money left over, you likely don’t need to buy a long-term care policy. On the other hand, if you cannot afford to pay monthly long-term care premiums, you will likely be able to qualify for Medicaid.
Another factor to consider is your family’s health history. Most nursing home stays are short-term and paid for by Medicare. A common reason for needing extended long-term care is dementia. If you know you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, it may make more sense to buy insurance.
Of course, we never really know what the future may bring. Long-term care insurance is like any insurance policy: we don’t know if we will ever need it. In general, long-term care insurance is something to consider if:
For information on what a good long-term care policy should include, click here.
For information on how much insurance you should purchase, click here.