Part of any wealth protection planning process should include a substantial discussion about the costs and benefits of long-term care insurance. Key benefits of this insurance product are control and security. Costs are dependent on the amount of coverage and types of coverage (as with most insurance policies) as well as an individual’s age when the long-term care insurance policy is underwritten.
Long-term care insurance typically provides coverage which is not included with regular health care insurance or with Medicare. Such items as in-home care, assistance with daily living, care in nursing homes, hospices or extended care facilities are usually covered in these policies.
Retirement planning often includes ways to grow savings, maximize returns and plan expenditures in retirement. A big unknown in that calculus is planning for health care costs, which have been escalating yearly. A carefully planned retirement can be completely derailed with a catastrophic illness, chronic disease, or cognitive impairment that can quickly deplete retirement funds.
Individuals can choose either the benefit period or lifetime benefit maximum dollar amount when selecting a policy. In some cases, lifetime or unlimited coverage is available, but this is being replaced in the industry with policies that have high coverage options such as a $1 million lifetime limit. Policies are characterized by fixed premiums which are known in advance and flexibility in terms of benefit options. Inflation protection is another option which offers assurances against rising health care costs.
For investors that want to help protect their assets and remain independent during their retirement years, long term care insurance is one way to feel confident about preserving hard-earned investments. A policy will give more choices and control over health care options and decisions for the insured as well as the option to maintain the independence to choose where care is received. And, importantly, it allows the insured to take responsibility for their own care, and reduces this burden on family members.
Currently Medicare does not provide long term care benefits to its recipients. Medicaid, in some instances, does provide assistance with nursing home care. Proactive health care planning is an essential component of asset protection which allows you to select the care you want in the setting you choose. Long-term care insurance can be a valuable asset in your retirement portfolio.
To learn more about long-term care insurance, check out www.aaltci.org, the American Association of Long Term Care Insurers’ website.