Today’s long-term care insurance policies are more flexible than the plans of several years ago. In the past, most long-term care plans only paid for services received in a skilled nursing facility, and benefit triggers were much more stringent.
The long-term care insurance plans of today cover a wider range of services. For example, many policyholders are now covered for care received in assisted living facilities and their own homes as well as in skilled nursing facilities.
In putting together the long-term care insurance policy that is best suited to your needs, you have a number of options to choose from, including:
Length of Coverage
You can choose the duration of coverage – the number of years you wish to be covered under the policy – including a lifetime option covering you for the remainder of your life, providing you continue to meet the criteria necessary to qualify.
Amount of Coverage
Typically you can choose the actual dollar amounts of daily or monthly benefits you wish to receive.
A long-term care policy’s elimination period works like a deductible in other types of insurance; you can choose the number of days that you pay out of pocket for your care until the policy benefits start. Depending on the policy, this can range from a low of 0 days to a high of 365 days.
You can also choose to add inflation coverage. With this option, the benefit amount will increase by a certain percentage each year in order to help keep up with inflation.
The flexibility of today’s long-term care insurance policies means that you now are able to pick and choose from options that weren’t available in the past. It’s important to work with your insurance professional in order to tailor those options to most closely meet your care expectations when the need arises.