Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

We insure our homes, our businesses, our boats, and even our lives. We buy insurance in anticipation of future risk – damage to property, loss of income, or loss of life. Long-term care is a grim reality for many people, yet many have not purchased or even explored their options for long-term care insurance.

The number of people who buy long-term care insurance is fairly low. The premiums may start high and increase as the insured ages. It is also sometimes difficult to qualify after age 50 or if pre-existing conditions are present. Still, long-term care insurance is worth exploring.

Long-Term Care by the Numbers

Before buying long-term care insurance, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the chances I will need long-term care?
  • How expensive is long-term care?

About 52% of people age 65 right now will need some form of long-term care. That number is slightly higher for women – 57.5%. As you age, your need for long-term assistance may increase. For example, 10% of Americans age 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, while 38% have it at age 85.

It probably will not surprise you to learn that long-term care is expensive. Although the cost varies widely from state to state, average costs in Florida as of 2017 are:

At-Home Care$  44,044
At-Home Health Aide$  45,760
Adult Day Health Care$  16,900
Assisted Living Facility$  37,200
Nursing Home Care (semi-private room)$  94,900
Nursing Home Care (private room)$106,580

Potentially, many people will need to find a way to pay for long-term care. There are generally three ways to pay for this care: self-pay, government programs like Medicaid, and long-term care insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance Options

Insurers offer a variety of insurance products to meet the diverse needs of their customers. Long-term care insurance is no different.

Many long-term care insurance policies are stand-alone, comprehensive coverage policies. Premiums are paid on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. Typically, this type of policy covers as many long-term care services as possible.

Some companies combine long-term care insurance with other policies. For example, an insurer may offer a rider to a cash value life insurance policy. However, the coverage received is usually very limited. Long-term care insurance can also be added to a disability income policy.

Another form of long-term care insurance uses a single premium deferred annuity. This requires a large lump sum payment when the policy is purchased.

Do You Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

That largely depends on your individual needs, your net worth, and whether you want to leave money for heirs. Even if you choose to purchase long-term care insurance, planning for long-term care should be an important part of your estate plan. Consult with an attorney about other options to pay for long-term care.

As a Florida attorney board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates, Attorney John Mangan offers effective estate planning to his clients. To schedule an appointment, call us at 772-324-9050 or fill out our Contact Form. Our office is conveniently located in Palm City, Florida.