LTC: More Questions to Consider

Here are some more questions to consider when dealing with Long-Term Care:

  • Is Alzheimer’s disease covered?

Most policies cover Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, often referred to as “organically based mental conditions.”

  • When will benefits begin?

Benefits commonly begin when a physician determines that a person is unable to perform two activities of daily living (ADLs) unassisted. In the same way that physical limitations can trigger benefits, cognitive impairments associated with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease may also trigger benefits.

  • How long will benefits last?

Oftentimes, you have a choice as to the duration of your benefits, which may be available up to a lifetime maximum. Consider these factors: your age, the amount you can afford to pay for premiums, and your risk tolerance based on your own health and the income and assets you expect to have in the future.

  • What is the daily benefit amount?

Daily benefits vary depending on where you live and the type of care you are receiving. For example, a person may receive benefits ranging from $100 to $150 a day for nursing home care, and $100 a day for at-home care. Remember, it is important to know if your benefits will be adjusted for inflation.

  • Is there an elimination period?

You may have to wait for a prescribed amount of time- often called an “elimination period” – before receiving benefits, during which time you will be responsible for expenses. In general, elimination periods range from 21 to 365 days. A longer elimination period may reduce your premium.

  • Will premiums be waived while you receive benefits?

You should not have to pay premiums while you are receiving benefits. Some insurers may require that you receive benefits for a prescribed period of time, 90 days for example, before premiums are waived.

  • Who can purchase long-term care insurance?

In general, anyone age 40 and over, and in moderately good health, should be eligible. The more tenuous your health is and the older you are, the harder it may be to qualify and the more likely you are to pay a higher premium.

-Robert Catalano