Advantages and disadvantages of long-term care insurance

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | May 27, 2011

When you are signing up for long-term care providers, you will quickly find that there are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to these policies. Always be careful to read the policies carefully and make sure that the long-term health coverage that you select closely matches your needs.  This article will explore the various advantages and disadvantages of long-term care insurance.

Good News About Coverage from Long-Term Care Providers

One major advantage to getting long-term care insurance is that it can be customized to match what you can afford and also what you need. The charges are also based on your age at the time of getting the plan. So, for example, if you get the insurance when you are 40 years old, the costs will be far lower than they would be if you get the insurance when you are 75 years old.

Another advantage is that many plans have a set period of time for which you pay your monthly charge. For example, if you opt for a 20-year option, once you have paid monthly for 20 years, there will be no more additional charges.   Another major advantage is that often the premiums are tax deductible. When you start receiving benefits, it is not considered to be part of your income.

Coverage Not Provided by Long-Term Care Providers

There are certain situations where even if you have long-term care insurance, they will not provide coverage. For example, many companies will not help with any care that is provided outside of the United States. This means that if you go on a trip out of the country and need assistance, your long-term healthcare plan will not cover you.

Coverage is For Long-Term Care Facilities Only

Additionally, if you end up getting treated for alcoholism or drug addiction, this also often won’t be covered. The same holds true if you are treated in a government facility.

However, the good news is that there are a variety of types of long-term care facilities that are indeed covered. These include nursing homes, assisted living centers and hospice care centers.

Pay for Family Members who are Long-Term Care Providers

Many long-term healthcare plans will pay to give your friends and family special training to take care of you. However, they will not put any funds towards paying these people. Therefore, if you have a friend of family member who plans to take off from work to take care of you, unfortunately, he or she will not receive financial compensation.

Make Sure that Long-Term Care Facilities Are Licensed

It is also necessary to pay attention to the licensing situation of any long-term care facilities that you use. Often if a facility is not licensed, your long-term care plan will not pay for your treatment. Obviously, this could turn out to be a major negative when it comes to your pocketbook.

The good news is that many policies will pay for everyday household needs. For example, if you have a paid long-term care provider assist you with food, laundry and cleaning, these services will usually be paid for. However, take note that these services have to be related to your condition.

You May Not Get Approved

Not everyone gets approved for a long-term healthcare insurance program. For example, if you have serious health issues when you go to buy the policy, they may say no. These issues can include everything from having AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease to already using long-term care providers or services when you try to buy the new policy.  



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