The ballooning costs of medical care are nothing new or surprising—even with good insurance, a simple trip to the emergency room might cost hundreds of dollars. These costs are further multiplied when a loved one has a chronic or long-term illness. Long-term-care insurance can help you prepare for and pay for the costs associated with chronic illness and end-of-life care.
So what is long-term-care insurance, what does it cover, and how can it help you, as your loved one’s caretaker?
What is Long-Term-Care Insurance?
Long-term-care insurance covers long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care. This care can take place in a variety of settings, whether it be assisted living, a hospital, or your own home. These services can include things like daily nurse home visits, home aid care, and physical and occupational-type therapies.
Long-term-care insurance is specifically meant to cover the gaps that other medical insurances won’t, or will not cover for long.
Having a good support network can be helpful when dealing with long-term care. However, this kind of insurance can also be a supplement to family care. It can help your family afford to find help to take much-needed days off. It can also help pay for therapies to improve quality of life.
How can I find long-term-care insurance?
Many of the largest insurance providers will have long-term-care insurance on their plans. Costs for policies can vary based on how often or long you plan on using the service, as well your age and overall health when you purchase your policy.
Some things to consider while looking are:
- what kinds of services are covered by the plan in question: nursing homes or assisted living facilities? Daily nurse visits? Home modification? Be sure to understand the benefits and limits of each policy you’re considering.
- Are there any limits or barriers to care around a certain preexisting condition you have? Some plans will limit the kind of care you can get for preexisting conditions, or how long after purchasing the policy you need to wait before receiving care.
- Are the premiums affordable for you? What happens if you stop paying?
You may also want to consider long-term-care insurance for loved ones you may need to care for in the future. Having these conversations can be difficult, but is ultimately necessary.