Is Long Term Care Insurance A Good Idea? There is a good possibility that you or your spouse will eventually require some form of long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of people aged 65 or older will enter a nursing home for some period of time during their lifetimes.1 Whether you or your spouse will be among this group is impossible to predict. But it is wise to consider how you might pay for long-term care and whether long-term care insurance is a good idea for you. Cost of Care Perhaps the first consideration is determining the potential cost of long-term care. The data to the left provides a summary of average annual costs according to a Fenworth 2017 Cost Of Care Study. With health care costs rising every year, these expenses can be expected to grow substantially over time. Furthermore, neither Medicare nor Medicare supplemental coverage, also known as Medigap insurance, typically cover long-term care. Medicaid will cover a large share of such services but only if you meet stringent financial and functional criteria. What's more, most employer-sponsored or private health insurance plans follow the same general rules as Medicare. Therefore, most people who need long-term care must pay for some or all of it on their own. Cost of Insurance Like life insurance, long-term care insurance policy premiums largely depend on your age and health. If you take out a policy when you are young, you can expect to pay comparatively low premiums during the life of the plan, while starting a new policy when you are older will entail significantly higher monthly premiums. A 60-year-old couple in good health can expect to pay an estimated annual premium of $3,490 a year for a plan with an initial benefit of $150 per day for up to three years and a 90-day elimination period, according to the 2018 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, prepared by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Waiting until age 65 results in a 34% increase, on average, to $4,675. 2 Most long-term care policies sold today are federally tax-qualified, which means the premiums paid and out-of-pocket expenses for long-term care may be applied to the medical expense deduction of the federal tax code. (Typically, taxpayers may deduct the portion of medical and dental expenses that exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income.) Additionally, long-term care benefits received are not taxed as income up to certain limits. Consult with a tax advisor to learn more about the tax implications of long-term care insurance. Coverage Long-term care policies are complex and vary widely. But in general, long-term care insurance typically covers the following: Nursing home care Adult day care Visiting nurses Assisted living In-home assistance with daily activities LTC includes a range of nursing, social, and rehabilitative services for people who need ongoing assistance due to a chronic illness or disability. LTC insurance can be used by anyone at any age who suffers an accident or debilitating illness, but it most frequently is used by older adults who need assistance with essential physical needs, such as bathing, dressing, or eating. Other Considerations Deciding whether to purchase long-term care insurance will depend on your personal situation. You may want to consider your family health history, your level of assets to potentially pay for long-term care, and your feelings about relying on family members for support. Probing these and other individual circumstance can help you make a well-informed decision. Ask a question What to Look for in a Long-Term Care Policy Here’s a list of 10 questions to ask that may help you better understand the costs and benefits of long-term-care insurance. Learn More Long-Term-Care Protection Strategies The chances of needing long-term care, its cost, and strategies for covering that cost. Learn More Understanding Long-Term Care Understanding the types of long-term-care services—and what those services could cost—may be critical. Learn More Long-Term-Care Needs Determine your potential long-term care needs and how long your current assets might last. Learn More Source/Disclaimer: 1 Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout®, June 20172 According to the 2018 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, prepared by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. LPL Tracking# 1-513243 Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. 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