November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month so we want to answer some of the biggest questions to help you plan accordingly. While long term care can be tough to discuss – much like life insurance or creating a will – it could be a critical component to your financial future.
Whether you’re thinking about yourself or having a discussion with aging parents, long-term care can help in a lot of different ways. Buying long-term care insurance is a great way to prepare for the future and ensure that you or your loved ones are taken care of later in life.
Long-term care insurance (also known as LTC) will help cover the costs if you have a disability or chronic medical condition. These policies will help cover the costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
The main reason is that regular health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care. Plus, Medicare only covers short nursing home visits and a limited amount of home health care. Not to mention, you have to pay out of pocket for custodial care or anyone else who can help you with day to day activities.
LTC can help you protect your nest egg and give you additional choices for your care. If you are relying on Medicaid, you will have a very small amount of choices with care facilities. Not to mention, Medicaid does not pay for assisted living in many states.
LTC allows you to get the best care and choose the best facility without draining your hard-earned life’s savings.
Getting an LTC policy is just like getting a life insurance policy. All you do is fill out an application, answer health questions, and potentially go through an interview depending on your medical history.
Once approved, you choose the amount of coverage and begin paying premiums. You can access these benefits when you are unable to do activities of daily living. These usually include things like dressing, bathing, eating, and others.
Similar to life insurance, LTC rates you pay depend on a lot of different factors like:
In general, women pay more than men because statistically, they live longer and have an increased chance of making insurance claims.
The older you are, the more likely you are to file an LTC claim. Similar to life insurance, this is a good idea to buy when you are younger and healthier.
If you’ve had a healthy and active life, you will pay lower premiums than someone with a long medical history.
If you are married, premiums are lower than they are for single individuals.
Like any type of insurance, prices among different insurance providers will fluctuate. This is why it’s vital to compare and get several LTC quotes before purchasing.
The higher the amount of coverage, the higher your premium payment. Plus, there are a lot of other factors like cost-of-living adjustments to protect against inflation, shorter elimination periods, and more. Make sure to ask plenty of questions as you reach out to different providers.
To buy LTC, you can purchase directly from a registered agent or an insurance company. Some employers might also help facilitate the process and get you a lower rate as well. But even if your employer can save you money, make sure you still get your own quotes a well for comparison’s sake.
There are some tax advantages to getting LTC coverage but not a ton. You can itemize deductions as you get older.
Plus, the federal (and some state tax codes) let you count part or all of LTC insurance premiums as medical expenses. These are tax-deductible if they meet a certain threshold.
Would you like assistance evaluating if Long Term Care insurance is right for you? Simply request a call from a Bayntree financial advisor today and we can help you determine your options.
Bayntree Wealth Advisors, located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.
Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.