Gayle Reeves' Blog

Long-term Care Insurance

Gayle A. Reeves - Thursday, April 30, 2009

Children are watching their parents' money dwindle down due to the high cost of long-term care. Many seniors are concerned about how they are going to pay the fees for an assisted living or nursing facility when they can no longer remain in their home.

The cost of a room in an assisted living facility is approximately $3,100 a month, depending upon the services required. The average monthly cost for a room in a nursing facility is $6,000. Long-term care insurance can be a valuable estate planning tool for people who do not want to spend all of their money on long-term care.

Long-term care insurance is expensive, averaging $3,000 to $4,000 per year. However, if you need to use the insurance, you are likely to see a return of your premiums in a matter of months.

Some questions to ask when choosing an insurance policy are:

  • Will the premiums go up?
  • What is the elimination period?
  • Is inflation protection available?
  • If I do not use the policy will it convert to a death benefit or can I get a return of my premium?
  • Is there a discount if a husband and wife take out a policy?
  • Can I get coverage even though I have some medical conditions?
  • How many years of coverage do I need?
  • Will it cover long-term care in my home, in an assisted living facility and/or in a nursing facility?

Care must be given to making sure you choose a policy that is going to give you the maximum benefit at an affordable premium. Always get quotes from 2 or 3 separate sources. Look at the companies who are offering the insurance, choose one that has been in the business a long time and has a good track record on paying claims. As with all estate planning, the earlier you begin the better. Premiums are generally much lower if you take out a policy when you are in your 40s and 50s as opposed to your 70s. Always consult with a licensed insurance professional who is experienced in the area of long-term care to assist you with finding a policy to meet your needs.