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Long Term Care Insurance Planners Take Confusion Out of LTC Coverage

Armen Hareyan's picture

Health Insurance

If you need long term care in an assisted living facility or nursing home, will your health insurance cover it? Many people think they're covered for long term care insurance, but they are mistaken.

To make sure you get the best coverage, the experts at www.long-term-care-insurance-planners.com want you to understand the many services you might need, and the difference between available long term care insurance policies. Here are answers to five common questions:

1. Do I already have coverage? According to a recent survey by AARP, people wrongly believe their other health insurance, such as health care or disability policies, will cover their long term care needs. Or they think Medicare will cover it, but that program is strictly for short term care needs. Although some employers have begun to purchase group long term care insurance policies for their employees, the vast majority of Americans are not insurance for this vital elder need.

2. How do I evaluate the health insurance companies offering long term care insurance? According to the respected non-profit organization Consumer Reports, people should check the ratings of potential insurers before buying a policy. Free company ratings are available at the web sites of A.M. Best, Moody's and Standard & Poor's, or you can purchase rating information from Weiss Ratings. Be sure of the company's stability before you buy.

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3. What are the basics of coverage that should be required? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, you should buy a policy with at least one year of nursing home or home health care coverage. Additionally, long term care insurance coverage should not be limited to skilled care, but also should include intermediate and custodial care. Also, the policy should include coverage for Alzheimer's, and should contain a guarantee that the policy cannot be cancelled or non-renewed because of age or health status. It should have a "free look" period (often 30 days) that allows you to return the policy for a refund within that time.

4. How do I compare policies? Each company should offer an "outline of coverage," says the NAIC, that defines the benefits, limitations and exclusions. The agent or company should also provide a "shopper's guide" to its policy. At www.long-term-care-insurance-planners.com, for instance, when you order a free quote, you receive quotes from three of the top insurers, making comparison easy. The site also includes in-depth information on understanding long term care insurance.

5. Should the impact of inflation be considered? Yes, say the health insurance commissioners, the policy should offer an option for inflation coverage. LTC insurance covers future needs, and the cost of services will continue to rise. For instance, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimate that nursing home costs will rise by 5 to 6 percent a year over the next decade. For those who can afford higher premiums, an inflation clause helps the policy keep pace with expenses.

As our population ages, the demand for long term care will continue to grow, making it even more important for people entering their retirement years to take a serious look at the coverage options available through long term care insurance.

Reprinted with permission, www.long-term-care-insurance-planners.com your source for free long term care insurance quotes online. - ANNAPOLIS, Md. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - July 19, 2005