When Should You Get Long-Term Care Insurance?
This is an important question to ask. But before one delves into consideration, the definition of long-term care insurance must first be laid out.
Long-term care insurance is a benefit to pay for care when a person is no longer able to perform two of the six daily functions: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, moving from a chair or a bed, eating, and caring for incontinence.
When one is in his or her prime years, thoughts of this possibility might not come naturally. But as most insurance policy advocates will say, the sooner, the better. Some experts say buying during one’s mid-40s is ideal because premiums are lower. You are also healthier. Others prefer to buy in their early 60s to pay premiums for fewer years.
The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national trade group, says that in 2009, 50% of long–term care insurance policy buyers were in the 55 to 64 age range.
Some might think that long-term care insurance is unnecessary if an individual is able to self–insure and has prepared well for retirement. But it may not always be the case because money in the bank may need to be allotted for other things such as expenses or debts, leaving no room for healthcare in their advanced years. Also, not having coverage could reduce the retirement funds for the healthy spouse.
Another consideration in investing in long–term care insurance is your family’s medical history. If Alzheimer’s is part of your family’s medical history, the care you or a loved one might need in the future, when the disease has taken its toll, may best be given by trained professionals. It may help preserve positive relationships and memories with loving family members if they are not obligated to provide care for family members whose disease has progressed, making it difficult and even emotionally painful to care for their loved ones.
Long-term care insurance may be a difficult reality to plan for, but it is well worth everyone’s time to consider, especially while the possible policy holder is young and healthy.
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