Long term care insurance (LTCI) has been around since the mid-1970s. At that time, a policy only covered the cost of care in a nursing home. Today, long term care insurance policies offer more options when it comes to the type of care a person can receive. They now cover in-home care, stays at assisted living facilities, and adult day care.
Consumers can also choose to buy hybrid policies (life insurance combined with a long term care rider), shared care policies (primarily for married couples), or get partnership programs where the government, together with insurance companies, gives incentives to people who buy this private coverage.
With these changes and different policies to choose from, LTCI has certainly become much more complicated, and for some, it might even be too exhausting and time-consuming to think about. The costly rates also scare off a lot of people and there are some who just don’t think it’s necessary and believe that they will never need one. Knowledgeable and experienced agents can help make things simple for you. They can help you shop around for the right policy at the most affordable cost.
Complicated plans and traditional ways of thinking have brought about a lot of misconceptions about long term care insurance. Even though Americans buy all sorts of insurance for their cars, homes, or even for their pets, it is only recently that they’ve heard more about long term care insurance. Therefore, there are still a lot of facts that need to be straightened out.
Misconceptions about Long Term Care Insurance
Misconception #1: Medicare will cover the costs of long term care
As stated on Medicare’s website, it does not cover the costs of indefinite long term care. It only pays for short-term care, which is recovery from an illness or injury. It can also shoulder expenses for medically necessary skilled nursing facility, home health care, and hospice care, but does not assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), i.e., bathing, eating, dressing, which most elderly and disabled people need.
Misconception #2: Long term care insurance is only for old people
Long term care insurance is associated with aging, but in reality, even young people can require some form of long term care. In fact, according to a report by the National Care Planning Council, 40% of long term care recipients today fall within the 18-64-year-old bracket. Since accidents, illness, and disability can happen at any point in one’s life, both young and old people may need long term care at any time.
Misconception #3: Long term care insurance is not necessary. Your family will take of you for free
Caregiving has a tremendous effect on the physical, emotional, and financial state of a home caregiver. We know that your family will likely take you in when you have become too weak to take care of yourself, but the question is would you want your care to be a burden on them? Also, more and more elderly, especially old women are living alone and living longer, so without a proper insurance plan in place, caregiving can have severe negative effects on the patient and his/her family.
Misconception #4: Buy the insurance when you need it
Just like with any other insurance, you can’t buy a long term care plan only when you need it. A house, for example, can’t be insured if it’s already burning. Some people miss the point that the younger they are, the more healthy they are, so the better chances they have of being eligible for coverage. As you grow older, health issues arise that may disqualify you from getting insured. Once you are sick or have a serious health condition, it might be harder to find companies who will be willing to cover you.
Misconception #5: It’s too expensive to get long term care insurance coverage
The cost of a policy will depend on factors such as the buyer’s age, the daily amount payout of the policy, and the number of years those benefits will be given. The price can be less if you purchase in your 50s or earlier. It also pays to request for quotes to compare long term care insurance policies to find the best available policy for you. The premiums can rise over the years but would have to undergo state regulatory approval.