Understanding the Need for Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care Insurance (LTC) is designed to reimburse you for expenses for everyday living assistance, should something happen to you. Traditional medical insurance and Medicare will not cover extra costs should you need help with activities we take for granted like bathing, eating or simply getting out of bed. LTC insurance options can provide for nursing home costs as well as home health care and assisted living.

Long Term Care is often mistakenly considered an issue affecting only the elderly but, according to the National Family Caregiving Association, more than 50 million Americans are serving as caregivers for their aged or chronically ill family members1. In a 2004 MetLife market survey of nursing homes the average cost of a private nursing home room was $70,080 per year with an average stay of 2.4 years and costs continue to rise.

Long Term Care Insurance can be an effective way to provide for your own care or that of a family member and protect your assets from being consumed by the cost of care. But it isn’t for everyone. For instance, as with life insurance, it gets more expensive the older you get. LTC Insurance can also be prohibitively expensive or unavailable if you are already sick or disabled. Before you purchase LTC insurance here are a few other considerations:

  • Do you have other insurance that will respond to LTC needs?
  • Do you have sufficient assets outside insurance to cover these costs?
  • Do you have enough assets to warrant purchasing the insurance to protect those assets?
  • Do you otherwise qualify for Medicaid (coverage may be available if you have low income and limited assets)?


Business Wire, 11/17/2005

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