Long Term Care Insurance

Written by Norene Anderson
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Long term care insurance is something that most people do not want to think about. Many people have the idea that it is nursing home insurance and that keeps them from even looking into the purpose and benefit of a plan. It is projected that the number of people over 65 years of age will double in the next 50 years. That means people are living longer and will require more extended nursing care as they age.

It is important to know that there is a wide range of services available for medical needs and support. For instance, people living with Parkinson's disease may have many years to live within the limits of this disabling disease. Tremors are usually the first symptoms and are sometimes controlled by medication. As the disease progresses, motor functions are compromised and it is often necessary to have assistance with bathing or other daily activities. Individuals with Parkinson's can benefit greatly from a long term care policy.

Providing custodial care is a large part of the benefit of long term care insurance. The evaluation for care is based on the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). If you evaluate everything you do without thinking about it, you will have a good list of ADLs. You get out of bed, walk to the bathroom, use the toilet, take a bath or shower, dress yourself, prepare and/or eat breakfast, and no one had to help you.

Caring for the Elderly Is a Family Affair

In years past, family members lived within close proximity and could care for elderly or ill parents in their homes. Life is much different today. Families are scattered around the world. Middle aged adults are caught between raising their children and caring for their parents. This can cause a real dilemma when the parents are in poor health and live in another city or state. Most of the elderly do not want to leave familiar surroundings to live near one of their children. A long term care policy can provide the in-home care needed. The adult children can have the peace of mind that their elderly parents are taken care of.

The need for extended care can quickly deplete all of the family's assets if insurance coverage is not available. If the family member requires home care, you can expect to spend from $1,800 a month for a four hour visit every other day to $7,200 or more a month for daily eight-hour visits. If the individual requires full time help, it is probable that long term care facility placement is best.

When you are shopping for a long term care policy, be aware of the average daily costs of care in your area. Facilities can vary considerably in the cost and also in the care provided. You may find the cost $130 per day in some areas and more than $250 per day in some metropolitan locations. Make sure the policy you purchase will cover care in the facility of your choosing. Allow for projected inflation in daily charges for future years when deciding on a policy.

Examine Long Term Care Insurance Policies Carefully

Most people think long term care is a problem for the elderly. Unfortunately, there are many diseases and circumstances that can alter the health status at any age. An accident can take a healthy person to a dependency on full time care in just a matter of seconds. Cancer or other life-altering diseases can change the makeup of a family with no warning.

The best time to enroll in an insurance policy is when you are still in good health. If an unfortunate event has already occurred, it will be very difficult and expensive to obtain coverage. It is even possible that coverage will be denied. Do some comparison shopping to find the best premium and make your investment in your future healthcare while you have the option.


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