If you're considering moving your aging parent or loved one to a senior living community, you may be wondering how to finance it. Depending on the level of care they need, as well as their own financial situation, paying for long-term care may not be as simple as writing a check each month.
Long-term care (LTC) insurance is one option — but it's important to understand what it does and doesn't cover. Here’s what you need to know about LTC insurance and how it works.
What is long-term care insurance?
Long-term insurance care is a financial option for aging individuals and their families that covers care-based living expenses. Regular health insurance doesn’t cover certain long-term care expenses. These expenses mainly relate to basic living functions, like bathing, dressing or getting in and out of bed.
Purchasing long-term care insurance can help your family address these issues and set your loved one up for the proper level of care as they age. These policies can cover care that occurs in a variety of settings:
● A private residence
● A nursing home
● An assisted living facility
● An adult daycare center
Often, individuals will start exploring and saving for long-term care options in their early 60s, but the sooner you and your loved one can look into this type of insurance, the better off they’ll be. Waiting until your parent needs the care may not be the best option – at that point, they likely won’t be able to immediately afford long-term insurance options without a steady income.
By considering LTC insurance options as early as possible, your loved one can begin paying into a policy that will ultimately help your family for years to come. The longer someone waits to apply for long-term care insurance, the likelier the chances are for a preexisting condition to prevent them from qualifying; however, if you or your loved one didn’t apply early, you should still try, as it may be possible to get some coverage.
How much does LTC insurance cost?
If your loved one doesn't currently have a long-term care insurance policy, they can purchase one. As with most insurance plans and medical care options, their premiums may be higher due to their age and health conditions. The main factors that influence your LTC include:
● Current age and health: The younger and healthier a person is, the less they’ll have to pay for an LTC insurance policy.
● Gender: Women may have to pay more because they typically live longer than men.
● Marital status: Married couples generally have lower premiums compared to single people.
● Insurance company: When considering a policy, it’s important to compare premiums across several different insurance companies and choose the one that makes the most sense to you.
Premiums will vary widely based on the above factors, as well as your own personal financial and health situation. According to NerdWallet, a single 55-year-old man in good health can expect to pay an average of $2,050 a year for a long term care policy with an initial pool of benefits of $164,000. A single 55-year-old woman can expect to pay roughly $2,700 a year for similar coverage. Couples at the same age will pay premiums of roughly $3,050 per year.
Keep in mind that these numbers will vary widely between insurance companies and will be adjusted depending on several factors relating to your personal and financial health.
Is LTC insurance right for my loved one?
Answering this question starts with assessing your loved one’s needs. Depending on their age and financial situation, LTC insurance may be a great option. After considering several personal details, there are a few other pros and cons to be aware of.
Pro: You know they’ll be taken care of.
Reaching the end of one’s life is a difficult experience. By saving now, you can provide loved ones with the care they need to be as comfortable as possible.
Pro: Your loved one may get some tax benefits.
Depending on their financial situation and age, your loved one may be able to deduct part of their LTC insurance premium payment on their tax return.
Con: Policies can be expensive, especially if they’re purchased later in life.
Purchasing an LTC insurance policy hinges on your family’s financial situation. It may be difficult to plan appropriately to afford the kind of care your loved one needs.
Regardless of your financial situation, Welcome Home Senior Services and Placement Company can help you find the right facility for you or your loved one. Choosing the ideal Florida senior living community can be difficult, but by working with our expert team, you can simplify the process. Contact us today to begin your family’s search for the perfect facility.