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  • Shopping Smart for Long-term Care Insurance

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    The cost of convalescence, or any kind of long term care insurance (LTC), can run well beyond the coverage of average health coverage plans. Because of this, many families find themselves needing to adopt an insurance plan specifically suited to LTC costs and needs. Shopping for insurance isn’t just time-consuming, it can also be confusing. Making yourself informed of the options available should be your first priority and coming into the search with the right questions will help you to accomplish that.


    Illness is never certain. It’s a standard practice in our society to buy insurance that minimizes our out-of-pocket costs in case we do get sick. In most cases, people either get sick or injured and the length of time for their recovery is relatively short. A broken arm can be quickly mended and a sore throat can be easily cured. But more serious conditions, such as a term illness or physical disability, can take much more time and medical attention to treat. For this reason, the insurance industry has seen the growth of LTC policies.


    Just like standard health insurance policies, LTC plans help patients minimize the cost of typically expensive treatment. Indemnity and expense incurred are the two most common types of policies, though several others are available. Most plans will outline limitations on the amount of spending for benefits, which may include medication, nursing and home equipment. It’s becoming increasingly common for larger companies to incorporate some form of LTC into a standard health care package. Also common are group plans through pension programs.


    Almost 20% of U.S. citizens over the age of 65 require some form of long term care, and therefore, the insurance that covers it. Medicare and Medicaid generally don’t go far in covering LTC costs. However, in certain circumstances, Medicaid may help pay a certain percentage of home-nursing costs. New federal laws and regulations have altered the financial responsibility of family members should the person receiving care pass away. Being protected from debt in cases of Medicaid coverage is now more common than it was years ago. Be sure to get long term care insurance quotes that take in to account preexisting coverage.


    If you turn to the private industry for care, the odds of negotiating a reasonable premium are better. Again, knowing your options and making the right inquiries are the best strategy for finding the best and most affordable plan for you or your loved ones. Many companies do not offer immediate benefits for preexisting conditions, so protect yourself now in order to receive LTC as soon as you may need it.