Genes matter. They make your eyes blue, your skin brown, or your heart strong. They can also make you less prone to inheritable diseases that insurance actuaries pay attention to. If your parents and grandparents did not have certain ailments that would have made their need for long term care more likely, your chances of qualifying for long term care insurance could go up a little. And your premiums could go down.
Then there are diseases that leave you relatively healthy medically but impose assistance in daily living. These include coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and – especially notorious in terms of qualifying for LTCI – Huntington’s disease. In fact, it’s 50-50 that someone whose parent had Huntington’s will have it too, and unfortunately that’s a risk LTCI providers are not willing to take.
(No one ever said life was fair.)
And what about ObamaCare? The Affordable Care Act does not let insurance adjusters set rates for traditional healthcare insurance based on pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, this part of the law DOES NOT apply to long term care insurance. For better or for worse, genes matter.
There’s a flip side, too. The better your family health history is, and the more healthy you are, could mean you are more likely you are to end up needing long term care eventually, because you’re more likely to live a very long life. Catch 22! So your best course is to do a little homework about your parents’ and grandparents’ major health issues, and then consult with an expert about the effects on potential premiums for long term care insurance coverage for yourself. If the forecast is somewhere between terrible and terrific,
LTCI may be right for you.