LTC – FAQ’s
By Insurance Suffolk Brokerage
“Do I need LTC coverage?”
Actually, you may never need LTC coverage. About 19% of individuals age 65 and over will experience some degree of chronic physical impairment. This number increases to 55% for individuals 85 and older. However people between the ages of 18-64 may also need LTC due to accidents or major illnesses.
The majority of this care will be received at home by friends or family members but for those that do not have these support systems, they will require custodial care or an at-home professional.
“When should I consider LTC coverage?”
As with all age-rated insurance, the younger you are, the less expensive it will be. As you get older and/or develop health issues, your premiums will go way up.
“I have group LTC coverage through my employer. Is that enough?”
It depends on the benefits the company policy provides its employees. Also remember, if you ever leave your employer, your LTC benefits will go away leaving you exposed to that risk. They are identical concerns as losing group life insurance through an employer.
“Will my premiums increase as I get older?”
Generally no. However, occasionally an entire policyholder class could see an increase in cost. It would not be due to your increasing age or deteriorating health issues however.
“Are these policies renewable?”
Virtually all LTC policies are guaranteed renewable so long as you pay your premiums on time and were completely honest on your application. However, the cost for coverage can go up but only if an entire policyholder class sees a rate increase.
“Can I switch policies?”
“What should I look for in an LTC policy?”
Yes. Much like life insurance policies, newer LTC policies may have better features than your existing policy. Just remember to make sure that the new policy you are considering is better than your existing policy. Also understand that the cost of the new policy may be more expensive since LTC coverage is age-rated. Additionally, your pre-existing condition exclusions for specific time periods will begin again.
- – Coverage for Alzheimer’s Disease, if the policyholder develops it after purchasing the policy
- – Inflation protection options (increasing benefits occasionally without having to provide evidence of insurability)
- – A policy renewal guarantee (you cannot be dropped because of age or deteriorating health)
- – A 30 day “free look” period, giving you the right to cancel the policy for a full refund
- – An “outline of coverage” that describes policy benefits, limitations and exclusions
- – No requirement that policyholders: 1) first be hospitalized in order to receive benefits, 2) first receive skilled nursing home care before receiving intermediate/custodial nursing home care or 3) first receive nursing home care before receiving benefits for home health care
As with all insurance, always speak to your doctors, financial advisors or informed friends or relatives before making a decision on coverage.