No one wants to think about it, but the reality is that sooner or later the majority of people will require some sort of long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of people turning 65 years old can expect to need some type of long-term care. The real question is how will you expect to cover the cost for your care? One safety net you can rely on to help cover care expenses is a long-term care insurance policy. If you're unsure of whether you should invest in long-term care insurance, consider these questions:
What kind of care will you need?
Even knowing your entire family's health history, it's hard to pinpoint the types of health-related issues that may afflict you or the extent of care that you'll need. Full-time long-term care assistance and medical care can be very expensive. Without long-term care insurance, you'll end up quickly spending through any funds you may have saved back, then jumping through hoops and paperwork to see if you can qualify for Medicaid. Long-term care insurance buys you time and enables you to afford quality care.
Is your family able/willing to help if the need arises?
One of the reasons people buy long-term care insurance is because it reduces the burden of care that may otherwise fall on loved ones. And since many families are scattered across the country, relying on family for care needs isn't always an option that's available to you. Even if your family is nearby and willing to help, it can also be physically demanding to care for someone, and your family members may not be capable of providing the help you need. Long-term care insurance enables you to pay for professional care so your family is not burdened with this task.
Do you lead a healthy lifestyle?
Believe it or not, the healthiest people are often the ones that end up needing long-term care assistance later in life, whereas heart problems or cancer may take the unhealthy ones sooner. One of the benefits of long-term care insurance for a healthy person is it can allow you to stay in your home and maintain your independence longer.
What are your odds of needing coverage?
According to the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance, "the lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living, or of being cognitively impaired, is 68% for people age 65 and older." While your personal odds are either zero or 100%, if you do need care for more than four or five months, you'll be glad you have long-term care insurance.
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About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.
Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral