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Long Term Care Insurance Basics

Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) can help cover the cost of staying in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or help cover the cost of in-home caregivers.

Last month, Aaron gave a mini-presentation to the San Diego Education Association discussing key points to know if you have a Long Term Care Insurance Policy. Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) can help cover the cost of staying in a nursing home or assisted living facility. It can also help cover the cost of in-home caregivers so individuals can age in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes.

If you have a Long Term Care Insurance Policy, here are some basic tips to follow starting now, whether you plan to use your benefit now or sometime in the future.

Have a Copy of Your Long Term Care Insurance Policy Handy

Having a policy copy easily accessible to you and your loved ones will make it easier when the time comes to use it. There are many instances when our clients or their families knew there was a policy in place, but then had to scramble to figure out who the company was and what the benefits were, causing delays in start of care or reimbursements.

Know Your Benefits

Review the details of your LTCI policy now, if you haven’t already. Not all policies are the same. What is your maximum daily, weekly, or monthly benefit? Clients are often surprised when their

LTCI benefits don’t cover the full cost of the care they actually need. Knowing these numbers will help everyone budget for all eventualities.

Know What “ADLs” Are

Most insurance companies will trigger LTCI benefits when you need assistance with at least two (2) of six (6) Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs. They are:

• Bathing
• Dressing
• Eating
• Transferring
• Toileting
• Continence Care

Understand What Your “Waiting Period” is and How it Works

Most insurance companies require a waiting period, also known as an “elimination” or “deductible” period, where policy holders are responsible for the cost of care after the benefit is triggered.

This waiting period can range from 10-180 days, and there are different ways a company can structure this. Many people wait until full-time care is needed before triggering their benefits, not realizing that they will have to pay for the full cost of care for the length of this waiting period.

With a full understanding of how your waiting period works, you might choose to trigger your benefit sooner, when less care is required, resulting in having to pay less out of pocket.

Take Advantage of the LTCI Benefits You’ve Been Paying Into

If you have a Long Term Care Insurance Policy, you’ve probably been paying into it for years. You should maximize the benefits you deserve by understanding how it all works! This article covered some of the basics, but please know, all policies are different.

If you need help reviewing your policy to see how to apply it towards home care services, we can help! Give Aaron a call at 619-880-5522 for a free consultation.

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