A lot of us don’t like to talk about “when” we get old and suffer health implications, but “if”. Unfortunately, this reluctance to talk about mortality and long-term care means that many of us are also reluctant to sign up for long-term care plans from a website until we need them. This dangerous mentality leads many Americans to put themselves and their families in the firing line for a potential financial nightmare.
How can you avoid the stress of being caught out when the time comes? By preparing ahead and investigating your long-term care insurance options before you need them. Here’s why:
1) The longer you leave it, the higher your premiums will be
Unfortunately, individuals who put off applying for long-term care insurance until they’re in their 70’s risk facing much higher premiums than those who purchase insurance at age 55. Most people assume this is because your monthly premiums will be lower due to the expectation that you will pay in for longer before needing compensation. However, an examination of several different long-term care policy holders makes it clear that applying at 75 (as opposed to 55) for benefits at 85 will cost you around 25% more for less than half the coverage.
2) Some pre-existing conditions won’t be insured
Long-term care insurance differs from health insurance in that long-term care providers are able to deny coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions. Both dementia and Parkinson’s disease present in patients around age 65. Still think you’re too young to apply for long-term care? If you wait until after being struck down with ill health or a chronic condition to apply, you may be denied by many long-term care providers. Providers that are willing to accept your claim will expect much higher premiums.
3) To protect your assets
Individuals who don’t have long-term care insurance risk losing a significant portion of their assets very quickly. Paying for long-term care without insurance often requires selling or mortgaging the family home to cover astronomical nursing home costs. Figures show that the average cost of a private room in a nursing home is approximately $90, 000 a year. These costs will very rapidly chip away at any funds your children are set to inherit.
4) To stay in your home for longer
Moving into a nursing home is a life-step that is distressing to most. This transition is increasingly distressing if it occurs in middle age due to neurological diseases such as early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s. Most patients wish to stay in their own homes with their children and spouse until it is no longer feasible to do so. This can usually only be facilitated by applying for round-the-clock carers or intermediate care to ensure that any adult children and partners are not overburdened by supplying the individual with constant care.
Many people who have taken out long-term care insurance also associate staying in their own homes as a step towards prolonging their independence and dignity.
5) To ease the burden on your children
The financial and emotional burden of caring for someone (and being cared for) with a chronic medical condition is often insurmountable. Most children feel indebted to their ailing parents and will often risk their own employment, livelihood and financial security in order to care for them.
Failure to set up a long-term insurance plan means whittling away at your children’s inheritance for your care. When the family home is sold and your funds depleted, your children may be forced to find thousands of dollars a month of their own money to secure your care and quality of life. Furthermore, the cost of carers will likely be too great to sustain, leaving your children to attend to your care at the cost of their own lives and families.
6) Peace of mind
In a world full of uncertainty, concerns about the future can take a significant toll on those reaching retirement age. Instead of worrying about future care expenses, it’s important to enjoy the fruits of your labours and do everything you’ve always wanted to while you’re still energetic, able-bodied and surrounded by family. You can significantly curb your worries by planning ahead and ensuring you have a suitable long-term care program to meet your needs now and in the future.
Long-term care is a delicate subject, but talking about it now with your loved ones and a long-term care provider is the only way to ensure that you, your spouse and your children are protected from future hardships and eye-watering expenses. What’s more difficult: finding a small amount of extra cash now or a significant chunk in the future?
Now that you’ve read these 6 sensible and imperative reasons to consider long-term care insurance, you’re ready to have a serious talk with an insurance provider about your future care requirements.