This blog post is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific estate planning, insurance, tax or legal advice. Please note that LTC Consumer and its representatives do not give financial planning, tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to consult with your tax advisor or attorney concerning your own situation.

How to Buy Long Term Care Insurance

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Do you know what kind of insurance you need and how much? If you’re not sure how to buy long term care insurance, we’re making it easier for you by sharing the information you need to know on how to get covered.

When to Start Shopping

It’s never too early to start planning for the future. Consumers typically buy LTC insurance during the retirement planning years of ages 45-65.

LTC insurance is bought based on your age and your health. The following includes the advantages and disadvantages of buying coverage while you’re young or waiting until you’re older.

  1. Buying While You’re Young: The younger you are, the lower your premiums will be. While you lock in lower premiums, you pay for coverage longer into your retirement years. The chances of being healthy and eligible for coverage are much higher when you’re younger.
  2. Waiting Until You’re Older: Your premiums will cost more each year you wait, but you pay premiums for less time than if you bought when you were younger. If you can’t pass medical underwriting, phone health interviews, and/or face-to-face interviews due to declining health conditions, you risk being declined for coverage.

Some financial advisors may recommend you wait until you’re age 65 to buy LTC insurance. This may be good advice for some but proceed with caution. If your health declines in later years, you may not be eligible for coverage at all. We see that the typical buyer is 56 years old.

Know the Cost of Care

The cost of care may increase each year and can vary by the location you plan to retire.

Why is this important? When you’re planning for the future, you need enough coverage to pay for future care expenses.

Check out our interactive cost of care map to learn more about the cost of care in your area, or where you plan to retire.

Get the Coverage You Need

There are four main features in a long term care insurance policy:

  • Daily or Monthly Benefit – how much coverage you have access to each day or each month for care (i.e. $100 per day or $3,000 per month)
  • Benefit Duration – how long you want your coverage to last (i.e. 3 years or 5 years)
  • Elimination Period – how long you need to wait until benefits begin
  • Inflation Protection – how your benefit will keep up with the rising cost of care over time (i.e. Future Purchase Option, 3% compound, 5% compound, etc.)

Additional riders such as Shared Care, 0-day Elimination for Home Health Care, and others may be beneficial add-ons for greater access to care and options. Speak with a specialist about the additional riders that may be right for you.

Gather Sound Advice

As a savvy consumer, you may research your options and have a good idea of your needs and wants. But let’s face it, not everyone has the time or desire to know all there is to know about long term care insurance!

That’s why it’s important to work with professionals who spend their days helping clients build long term care plans for their future.

LTC Specialists focus solely on long term care planning and can quickly and easily guide you in making decisions by assessing your needs and wants. Save yourself time and get sound advice from a specialist you can trust.

Tell Your Friends and Family Your Plan

Don’t forget to tell your close friends and family about your long term care plan. When the time comes, they should know where your policy is and what your wishes are for care.

Do you want to receive care in the home or in an assisted living facility? Start the conversation now and express your wishes and wants, including how your care will be funded.

Ready to get started? Request a free quote to learn about the long term care plan options and features available in your state.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.

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