Not long ago, financial advisor Evelyn Zohlen, founder and president of Inspired Financial, heard from a 68-year-old client who was willing to take out long-term care insurance (LTCI).
“We bought it and it’s too late. It is now unaffordable for them, ”Ms. Zohlen told Medical Daily.
Nobody likes to spend money unnecessarily, but Ms. Zohlen said waiting too long to purchase a plan is the biggest mistake people make with LTCI policies that help cover the cost of home helpers or skilled care facilities.
“The problem people don’t understand is that your money is being paid for your long-term care insurance – but it is really your health that buys it,” said Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance Medical Daily.
That means you need to ensure the coverage you want while you are still healthy enough to qualify for it at affordable prices.
When do you start thinking about it?
How do you find the right age to start? Mr Slome quipped that the perfect time to register a policy is 30 to 60 days before you need it. Unless you have a crystal ball, you will not be able to predict your future needs with this accuracy. However, you can listen to the advice of the experts to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.
According to a survey conducted by the LTCI Association, 72% of long-term care insurance claims were submitted for home health care in 2019, not for nursing home stays. With that in mind, Mr. Slome encouraged people to buy a small policy if that’s all they can financially manage.
“First, it will be affordable,” he said. “And secondly, it will very likely be all you will need.”
Ms. Zohlen noted that the majority of insurance companies offer hybrid policies that offer long-term care and death benefit. “[They’re] Basically a life insurance policy with a long term cover, ”she said. These guidelines can help you manage your expenses by paying a premium for two potential benefits.
What if you want to age on the spot?
Even a “modest” amount of LTCI can help you manage the need for care in your home that could otherwise lead to more serious health obstacles, Slome said. For example, if you need help with some areas of hygiene, minimal assistance from a domestic help can reduce the risk of a fall and injury that would require more extensive care.
“We love our houses, [but] The vast majority of our houses are not designed for easy aging, ”said Ms. Zohlen. “There are age-in-place advisors who can come to you for a very small fee and tell you the things you need to think about when upgrading. You don’t have to follow the advice of the advisors. But it’s really educational to see, wow, okay, I never thought about all of these things that I would have to change if I wanted to stay here. “
Vicki Hoak, executive director of the Home Care Association of America, told Medical Daily that many home health authorities also offer home exams. These reviews evaluate what changes you can make in your home to control whether you need domestic help. “Our goal is always to maintain independence,” she said. “Whatever we can do first to maintain this unaided independence is always a good thing.”
Take them home
These are some factors that you should consider when deciding whether to take out long term care insurance for the future. Experts point out that LTCI not only covers the cost of a facility, it can also help you age the way you want at home. Please visit the American Association for LTCI Resource Center for more information.