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Basics on Long Term Care Insurance


Your basic questions about Long Term Care Insurance answered.

What is long-term care insurance?
Though a somewhat new concept, long-term care insurance is just like any other insurance policy. The insured makes premium payments to an insurance company in return for the company’s promise to pay for specific coverage—in this case, nursing home costs.

Who needs it?
According to Dan Sheets, owner of Kentucky Insurance World, the person who needs LTC insurance is “the individual who wishes to preserve whatever savings they have accumulated for retirement.” With nursing home costs skyrocketing, the danger is that baby boomers will have to exhaust their savings to pay for health care costs. “There is no magic dollar amount of how much you need,” Sheets says, “but a policy that protects and pays for at least two to three years should be minimum.”

What should I look for in a policy?
There is more to look for in a policy than just the cost of premiums. “The two most important things to look for are the commitment the company has in the long-term care industry, and the purchasing of an inflation rider,” Sheets says. The inflation rider allows the policy benefits to grow and keep pace with rising health care costs.