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