As the fees charged by assisted living facilities continue to increase and life expectancies remain high, the potential expense of staying at one of these facilities is something that many people must prepare for. Long term care insurance policies help Massachusetts residents prepare for the potential cost of staying at an assisted living facility or getting another form of ongoing care.
Long term care insurance is a specialized type of health coverage that specifically helps with various forms of ongoing care. Depending on a policy’s particular provisions, it may cover at-home care, occupational therapy, rehabilitation services, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Most Massachusetts residents should consider the potential cost of an assisted living facility, for there’s a good possibility that many residents could end up spending their final years at this type of home. This doesn’t mean that everyone should purchase LTC Insurance, however.
In general, the people who benefit most from an LTC policy are those in the middle class. They tend to have some savings, but not so much that they can cover a prolonged stay in an assisted living facility. For these individuals, a policy can provide peace of mind that they’ll be well taken care of even if their health worsens -- and receiving care won’t deplete their entire life’s savings. This latter consideration can be especially important when a spouse may also need those savings or those savings are intended to be an inheritance for children.
Residents who don’t have any savings and those who have a lot of savings may want to forgo this insurance. For the former group, the cost of premiums can be burdensome and that money might be better spent on other expenses that come with the senior years. For the latter group, insurance may be unnecessary if they’re wealthy enough to self-insure without jeopardizing all of their savings.
For more information on whether LTC insurance makes sense for them, residents can speak with an insurance agent who specializes in this type of coverage. A knowledgeable agent will know what coverage options are available and be able to help make an informed decision regarding policy selection.
There’s no one single age at which everyone should purchase LTC insurance, however, it’s generally wise to have coverage in place before the senior years. Not only does the likelihood of moving into an assisted living facility increase with age, but so does the risk of a debilitating health issue.
Some health issues can disqualify residents for policies, which increases the likelihood of being denied coverage if an application is delayed too many years. Around 25 percent of applicants who are in their 60s are denied coverage, while about 14 percent of people in their 50s are denied. If a policy is in place before a debilitating health issue develops, denial normally isn’t a concern.
Given the risk of potential denial, many people begin looking at LTC policies while in their 40s or 50s. There are still those who get coverage even before turning 40 or after turning 60, though. While the 40s and 50s might be the most common ages to explore policy options during, being younger or older doesn’t automatically preclude a person from seeing what they qualify for.
Although the chances of using long term care coverage to pay for an assisted living facility increases with age, there are plenty of people who haven’t hit traditional retirement and still need the insurance. Approximately 35 percent of residents who need long term care are less than 65 years old.
For help finding long term care insurance in Massachusetts, contact the independent insurance agents at The Feingold Companies. An agency with experienced team members, we have the expertise to help you compare policies and can show you policy options from different insurers. With our assistance, you can be confident that the long term care policy you select is well-suited to your needs.