There's a good chance that you may need to pay for nursing home, assisted living or, home health care one day. Long-term care refers to the many services beyond medical care and nursing care used by people who have disabilities or chronic (long-lasting) illnesses. Long-term care insurance helps you pay for these services, which can be very expensive. A policy also ensures that you can make your own choices about what long-term care services you receive and where you receive them.
Ordinary health insurance policies and Medicare usually do not pay for long-term care expenses. Medicaid, a federal/state health insurance program, will only pay for long-term care if you've already spent most of your savings or other assets. So, there's long-term care insurance.
Long-term care insurance typically covers the cost of:
Help in your home with daily activities like bathing, dressing, eating and cleaning.
Community programs, such as adult day care.
Assisted living services that are provided in a special residential setting other than your own home. These services may include meals, health monitoring, and help with daily activities.
Care in a nursing home.
Other benefits of long-term care insurance:
Many individuals may feel uncomfortable relying on their children or family members for support, and find that long-term care insurance could help cover out-of-pocket expenses. Without long-term care insurance, the cost of providing these services may quickly deplete the savings of the individual and/or their family.
Premiums paid on a long-term care insurance product may be eligible for an income tax deduction. The amount of the deduction depends on the age of the covered person. Benefits paid from a long-term care contract are generally excluded from income.
Business deductions of premiums are determined by the type of business. Generally corporations paying premiums for an employee are 100% deductibleif not included in employee's taxable income.[IRS Sec. 162(10)(1)(B)]
When is the right time to buy a policy?
Many people don't think about long-term care until they get into their 70s and 80s and their health begins to fail. The best time to buy long-term care insurance may be middle-age. It's the time when you have the highest likelihood of being eligible for a policy and, just as important, when premiums costs might be lower.
Key Issues to Review
Be sure you consider each of these issues:
Important Features to Consider
Make sure that your long-term care policy:
> Clearly explains when you will be eligible for coverage and how your eligibility will be determined.
> Will be renewed as long as you pay the premiums.
> Lets you stop paying premiums once you begin receiving benefits.
> Has one deductible for the life of the policy.
> Automatically covers pre-existing conditions if you disclosed them when you applied.
> Offers choices for inflation protection including an automatic increase in your benefit on an annual
basis or a guaranteed right to increase your benefit.
> Allows you to downgrade your coverage if you cannot afford the premiums.
> Provides at least one year of nursing care and home health care coverage.
If you're concerned about being financially secure during your retirement years, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to protect yourself against what could be the greatest threat to your financial security, the cost of long-term care.
Long Term Care Insurance
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