The Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

Should I consider obtaining long-term care insurance as part of my estate planning?

People are living longer today, and this means making plans for long-term care. If an individual experiences a serious long-term care event that requires extensive medical treatment or entering a long-term care facility, the costs can be exorbitant. By failing to have an adequate estate plan that considers arranging for long-term care, a lifetime of savings can be quickly depleted.

While some individuals may be wealthy enough to pay for long-term care expenses, the average person is most likely not able to do so. Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare will cover the costs of their health care entirely in their golden years, but this is not the case. Moreover, there are income restrictions for qualifying for Medicaid, even though there are asset protection strategies that may allow some to qualify.  In light of these issues, it might be worth considering buying long-term care insurance.

What are the benefits of long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance can be part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy that can enable an individual to minimize risk and protect assets. Factors to consider include age, health, and family medical history. Obviously, the need for care increases for people who are older or in poor health, or who have family histories for health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease that require long-term care.

There are costs to consider as well, since long-term care insurance means paying premiums, and these payments can increase, depending on the risk factors as people age. Moreover, the typical strategy is to pay an ongoing premium until long-term health care is required. At that time, the policy will provide an individual with set benefits for a specific period of time. So, long-term insurance may only narrow the gap between the cost of health care, self-funding, and any benefits you are receiving. Nonetheless long-term care insurance can help an individual maintain his or her current living environments while lessening the burden on loved ones.

If you have questions about long-term care planning or any matter related to your estate, you should consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.