How much does long-term care insurance cost?
Below are some average prices, depending on your age.
||Average annual premium
||Average monthly premium|
|65 and over
What is the best age at which to buy this insurance?
The older you are when you buy long-term care insurance, the higher the cost for the premiums (see table above). On the other hand, the younger you are when you buy your plan, the longer you may pay premiums before needing any benefits. Generally, buying a plan while you are still healthy, in your late 40s or early 50s, is ideal. Keep in mind, however, that your premium could double over the life of the plan. You will have to continue to pay more or lose your protection under the plan. It is important to talk to your financial adviser about how this type of insurance fits into your long-term financial strategy.
Would it be better for me to invest money in the stock market to pay for my own long-term care in the future?
You should speak with a licensed financial adviser to see what is right for you. Saving money is always a good option, but long-term care can provide a valuable safety net.
Will Medicare cover my long-term care needs?
No, Medicare will not cover long-term care needs. Medicare will pay for rehabilitative services, but those are focused on improvement and recovery. If you are not able to improve or recover, Medicare will no longer pay for your care.
Will my premiums go up once I buy insurance?
Premiums may increase after you purchase insurance if the Insurance Division approves your company's rate increase. When long-term care insurance first became available in the 1970s, insurers had limited information on how to price this type of insurance. Some have sought steep rate increases decades later as they realized more claims are being filed than were anticipated. Learn more about long-term care rates.
When does my policy start paying benefits?
Long-term care insurance plans have an elimination period. This is also called a waiting period or exclusion period. This period is the number of days you must need nursing home or home health care before your plan will pay for services. Shorter elimination periods have higher premiums. Also, your plan will not pay benefits until you satisfy certain requirements. Mental impairment or an inability to perform a given number of daily living activities triggers benefits. Bathing, dressing, eating, transferring (to or from bed or chair), toileting, and continence (bowel/bladder control) are examples of daily living activities. Most plans require a test to determine cognitive impairment. Learn more about long-term care insurance benefits.
Can I switch insurance plans?
Some people want to replace an existing insurance plan with a newer one with more benefits. However, you will likely have to undergo new underwriting (the insurers could decide not to sell you a newer plan based on your health). And, you will have higher premiums because you are older than when you bought your original plan.