What is long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance is different than traditional health insurance. This type of insurance is designed to help pay for personal care services in a variety of settings, including your home, day service centers, hospice care, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and others. Coverage costs and benefits vary based on your needs.

Why do you need long-term care insurance?

Currently, the average long-term care claim is nearly three years – costs can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The costs for home health care or nursing home care can vary significantly, but even over a short period of time, without a plan, your savings can be depleted quickly, leaving loved-ones struggling to cover expenses.

Important factors to consider:

  • Your age and health – policies are less expensive when you are young and healthy
  • Your Income – your income can affect plan choices
  • Your Support System – do you have family that can provide long-term care
  • Savings and Investments – a licensed agent can help you make decisions regarding LTC choices
  • Taxes – benefits paid through LTC insurance are generally not taxed as income
  • Inflation protection – indexing to inflation will help keep up with the rising cost of care

The best way to determine if long-term care insurance is right for you is to contact a licensed independent agent who can offer advice and a range of options from multiple companies to fit your needs. Remember, the longer you wait to develop a plan, the more expensive these policies will be. Premiums for someone age 65 are 8-10% higher than new customers age 64.

Today’s long-term care insurance plans have evolved to provide policyholders with more assurances – ways to maintain future premium rates, ways to guarantee how much money will be available within the policy, and ways to ensure that you or your loved ones will have access to the funds to pay for the policy.

-Matt Tavani, Gannon Associates Insurance, mtavani@gannonassociates.com