Should You Consider Buying Long Term Care Insurance Or Not?
Should you be concerned with the possibility of needing future nursing care
We have good news. Insurance companies keep detailed records. Those records demonstrate that we are living longer now. But along with an increased life span, comes the increased chance that we will need some sort of nursing care in our lives.
This care could come from a nursing home, assisted living facility, or even home health care. It may be provided by professionals, nurses aids, or family members. But either way, there will be some costs involved in it.
How can we plan for nursing care expenses?
Well, just doing nothing and hoping that nursing care will not be a problem for us is probably not the best idea.
Lots of people just assume the government will take care of it.Medicare is the federal health insurance plan for seniors and disabled people in the US. It does not pay for long term care, but only provides for short term needs. If we have to sell off all our assets and have a very low income, we may qualify for Medicaid services. This may be the only solution for some people, but is probably not how you would like to lose a lifetime of savings. There may be a fallback plan from the government, but it will come with a price.
Nursing homes can cost $4,000 to $5,000 a month. Even a part time home health aid will cost a couple of thousand. And if a family member takes care of you, they will still have expenses or lost income to make up for. Any way you think about it, there will be expenses. And most of us would see our savings evaporate fairly quickly if we had to pay for it out of our checking account!
Have you considered LTCi (Long Term Care Inurance)?
So many people consider LTCi (long term care insurance) to cover future care expenses. Some qualified plans can even be deducted from our taxes now. Be careful when you are shopping though because these plans do cover different things. You want to be able to purchase a flexible plan that will help you when you are older, but that will come with a price tag that fits into your budget now. No long term care insurance plan will help you if you cannot afford to pay the premiums now.
Have you considered alternatives to LTCi?
Some annuities have a clause that covers nursing care. This may be a good way to save for the future. You will also be contributing to your nursing home account, but if you never need to use it, the rest of the money can go to you or to beneficiaries.
You can also find life insurance policies with nursing care riders. If the money is needed, it is taken from the policy value. If not, it still goes the the beneficiaries as a cash benefit.
Do you need to purchase long term care insurance?
This is an individual decision. If your income and assets are very low, you may just choose to rely on government programs. If you have an estate to protect, you may want to make sure you have some plans in place.
Are You Considering Long Term Care Insurance?
by: Marilyn Katz
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