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  • Long-Term Care Insurance


    Long-term care insurance covers any help needed if you have a chronic illness or disability and are unable to care for yourself. You may get this care in a nursing home or in your own home. Long-term care insurance covers a wide range of services beyond medical and nursing care, including:

    • Visiting nurses
    • Meal delivery
    • Help with chores
    • Help for caregivers 

    Long-term care is costly. Most long-term care policies are indemnity policies that pay a fixed amount for each day you get care (ranging from $50 to hundreds of dollars per day). Daily benefits for at-home care are at the lower end of the range, while nursing home care is the most expensive.

    Buying long-term care insurance

    If you are buying a long-term care policy, consider the following:

    • Exactly which services are covered (such as nursing home care, home health care, adult daycare and help for caregivers)
    • Daily payments for each service
    • How long the benefits last
    • Maximum lifetime benefit (if any)
    • Maximum length of coverage for each period of confinement (in a nursing home or at home)
    • How long the period of confinement is before premiums are waived
    • Waiting period for pre-existing conditions
    • What assessments or exams are needed
    • Whether the policy is guaranteed renewable  
    • Age range for enrollment
    • Whether there is a waiver-of-premium (This states that the insurer will keep up your policy without premiums if you become totally disabled before age 60 or 65.)
    • Whether the policy has a nonforfeiture benefit (This protects a portion of your benefits if you stop paying premiums.)
    • Whether the policy has an inflation adjustment feature (This increases your benefits by a small percentage each year. The increase helps ensure that coverage bought today will pay for the cost of long-term care in the future.)
    • Cost of the policy

    Updated 02/07/14

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