Most people have a plan for emergency health issues. Yet, few have considered the possibility of needing extended health care in the event that disability, injury, or debilitating illness makes performing ordinary tasks impossible. Often the elderly require daily monitoring and vigilant nursing, but it is not only the aged who fall into this category. Some diseases or injuries can leave a young person incapacitated for years. In such situations long terms health insurance takes over where traditional insurance leaves off. Here are some helpful tips for understanding long term health insurance and how to choose the best policy.
There are a number of factors that affect cost of the plan. First, age is a key consideration. A seventy year old may pay three times as much as a fifty year old. Second, the longer the duration of care, the higher the premiums will be. Third, each plan generally pays out in two different ways. The company may pay the facility directly, or some plans allow for paying the patient. The latter type of plan is preferable for the client in that the money may be used for a wider variety of items. But, plans that pay the patient often carry a higher price tag. Fourth, the elimination period also affects cost. After a client is deemed worthy of receiving benefits, they must wait before they may begin colleting. This period is called the elimination period; which may run from ninety days to a year. Longer elimination periods generally equal lower premiums. Fifth, the cost of health care inflation causes policies to lose their effectiveness. A twenty year policy purchased at the age of sixty won’t be worth as much after fifteen years of inflation. Inflation protection is another dynamic of insurance rates.
Regardless of age or duration, each plan functions basically the same. The insurance will pay a prescribed amount per day for the term of the agreement for all covered care. If the policy pays $150 a day for three years, the most the policy will cover is $164,250. The benefits are paid when the insurance company deems that the patient has suffered serious impairment that prevents them from normal day-to-day functioning. These benefits are then paid over the life of the term; which may range from one year to the remainder of the patient’s life. The types of care covered include skilled, immediate, and custodial care at a nursing facility. In some cases home care may also be approved, as well as hospices and assisted living. In the event that a term was not long enough, most policies may be renewed without a problem. Unfortunately, the rates don’t commonly lock in.
The reasons for purchasing long term health insurance are various, subjective, and personal. Here are few that are common considerations. 1. Individuals don’t want to be a burden to their family with heavy medical bills or the responsibility of care. 2. Even if the parent or grandparent has enough capital to afford their nursing, they’d like to reserve those funds for an inheritance. 3. When a policy is bought, it opens up the choices for nursing homes. When left to pay for their own care, price often compels patients to seek inexpensive care which lacks desired amenities. 4. Some coverage allows for home-care, and many folks greatly desire this option. 5. Lastly, many individuals want the peace of mind that professional coverage offers.
When the choice has been made to purchase long term health insurance, consider these elements when comparing policies. Does the coverage offer flexibility? Selection and location apply to long term care facilities as much as they do to real estate. Do the benefits include daily care as well as medical treatment? Often the need for daily care is more necessary than regular medical attention. Is inflation protection an option? Longer terms require better coverage to cover price increases. Are lower terms available? The chance of needing care for over five years is slim for most individuals. Policies that offer terms of a year or two are beneficial.
In the end, no one wants to lose the ability to care for themselves. Unfortunately that choice is seldom left up to the individual. Long term health insurance offers the peace of mind and protection that is needed for a complete recovery or a comfortable respite. The most important aspect of shopping for health insurance is to compare costs, coverage, and companies. It is always wise to shop around for the most competitive rates.