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Long-Term Care Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

Unfortunately, the high cost of long-term care services can easily deplete a person’s retirement savings. This is why industry experts recommend taking out long-term care insurance for those who can afford it. Apart from helping seniors protect their retirement funds, this type of coverage gives them the option to receive the best possible care.

If you are an insurance broker asking about long-term care insurance, this is an excellent article to share with them.

The answer to this varies by state and country, but in the United States policyholders must obtain certification from a trusted health care provider that they are unable to perform at least two of the following activities without direct assistance: I have. These are also called “benefit triggers” and most countries have some form of them.

  • bathing: The ability to go in and out of the toilet and clean yourself.
  • incontinence: Ability to control urination and defecation.
  • dressing: The ability to put on and take off clothes by yourself.
  • eat: This is the ability to feed yourself.
  • toilet: The ability to get on and off the toilet.
  • Transferring: The ability to get on and off a bed or chair.

Policyholders may also be eligible for long-term care benefits if they have a debilitating condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or schizophrenia.

In addition, most policies require the beneficiary to pay for care services out-of-pocket for a specific period of time, also known as the “erasure period.” This usually lasts 30-90 days, after which the insurer will start reimbursing. Your LTCI plan will pay for your medical bills up to a daily cap until you reach your lifetime maximum.

Some insurance companies offer shared care options for married couples. This allows you to share the total insurance value and draw from each other’s benefit pools if one of your spouses reaches the policy limit.

read more: America’s Top Health Insurance Companies for the Self-Employed

As with other types of insurance, long-term care insurance plan premiums are affected by many factors. These include:

  • pain: Individuals who take out a policy at a young age will have to pay their premiums longer, but can expect lower rates.
  • Health: Postponing buying insurance until a health problem occurs can result in higher premiums or, worse, denial of coverage.
  • sex: Women tend to live longer than men, so they often pay more than men and are more likely to make claims.
  • marital status: Married couples usually get lower premiums than singles. You also have the option to purchase shared benefits.
  • Level of coverage: Higher daily and lifetime limits and the availability of additional features (such as inflation protection and shorter surrender periods) can increase insurance costs.
  • Insurance company: Fees vary by insurance company.

The American Long Term Care Insurance Association (AALTCI) recently 2022 price index It details how much policyholders of various ages, genders and marital status can afford in annual premiums. Below is a summary of the cost of insurance with $165,000 worth of coverage. According to industry associations, the rates shown below are for “choice” health insurance, which is higher than “preferred” health insurance.

Because such insurance provides health-related coverage, it is easy to confuse long-term care insurance with other forms of health insurance. However, there is a significant difference in terms of coverage.

  • Standard health insurance: This covers medical expenses such as doctor and hospital visits, emergency surgery and medication. Nursing care services are not covered.
  • Critical illness insurance: this Covers treatment and recovery costs result of serious illness. Most policies pay a lump sum that the policyholder can use to replace lost wages or pay for treatment-related or non-medical expenses, including mortgages and groceries.
  • Disability insurance: Pays a portion of your income if the policyholder is unable to work due to injury or illness.
  • Life insurance: This type of plan works by providing a tax-free lump-sum payment to the policyholder’s family when they pass away.
  • Medicare: Medicare, available to the elderly and disabled, provides limited benefits for stays in nursing homes after hospitalization, and often provides coverage only if the illness is acute or temporary. Long-term custodial care and chronic medical conditions are not covered.
  • Medicaid: This public health program provides financial assistance for long-term conditions, but has strict eligibility criteria. Some states set specific income limits (e.g., $18,745 in states with expanded Medicaid), and beneficiaries must either liquidate assets or pay for benefits through the Medicaid Spending Reduction Program to qualify. You may have to spend some out of your pocket.

read more: A Guide to Finding the Most Affordable Health Insurance Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows eligible taxpayers to deduct a portion of their long-term care insurance premiums on their tax returns as “unpaid medical expenses,” depending on their age. However, they must itemize these deductions, which also must not exceed the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) threshold.

The table below 2022 deduction limit Set by a statutory body.

Long-term care insurance tax incentives

It’s also important to note that LTCI plans come with tax exempt benefits. This means that policyholders are not taxed on the benefits they receive.

Different policies will be available in your country from different companies, but here are some general things to consider when choosing a policy:

  • Benefit amount: This includes assessing the type of care you expect to receive and the daily costs. One important thing to note is that the cost of long-term care can vary greatly depending on where the person lives and the quality of care. For example, care in private nursing homes is more expensive than care at home.
  • Payment term: Some insurers offer their customers the option to choose the premium payment period. Usually from her 2nd year to her lifetime. One of the key determinants here is medical history. If the patient’s family has a family history of debilitating illness that requires treatment over many years, it may be desirable to choose a longer benefit period.
  • Year: Most industry experts recommend taking out insurance while in your mid-50s and early 60s. Purchasing an LTCI policy at a young age can reduce your premiums.
  • Waiting period or exclusion period: Insurance companies usually impose a waiting period of 30, 60, or 90 days before benefits begin. This means that the policyholder pays out-of-pocket medical costs for a period of time. It should be noted that the longer the cancellation period, the lower the premium.
  • Inflation protection: In recent years, medical costs have skyrocketed due to inflation. For example, nursing home prices are increasing by an average of 5% each year. Insurance companies often offer endorsements to protect against inflation, resulting in daily benefits increasing each year.
  • Tax impact: Most insurance companies offer tax-eligible insurance with tax-exempt benefits and deductible premiums. However, the amount of the deduction depends on the age of the taxpayer.
  • Insurance company reputation: Insurance that customers practice due diligence, are financially stable, and are committed to providing the best possible care to their policyholders, as many providers have exited the market in recent years. Choosing a company is important.

read more: Can life insurance be used to build wealth?

The best long-term care insurance provider varies greatly depending on your country of residence.head to Best of Insurance page Click on your country at the top to find an insurance broker that works for you.

what about you? Do you think long-term care insurance is worth considering? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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