Should I Get Long Term Care Insurance?

This is an interesting question – "should I get long term care insurance or not?" The answer is relatively simple, yet it is a more difficult decision to go for a policy given you usually make the decision before you really need long term care. Because once you need long term care, most insurance carriers will not issue you a long term care insurance policy.
Long term care insurance is insurance that you may purchase to supplement your own ability to pay for long term care once you need help with keeping up with daily living activities like getting dressed and running errands. Getting care for these types of activities is the most basic level of long term care, and can extend all the way up to skilled in home nursing following a stroke.

Should I Get A Long Term Care Insurance Policy?
For many people, Medicaid and Medicare are often thought of as the path to paying for long term care assistance. However, true – this is the care for only those individuals who have very little money in the bank, and have very little income – in other words are on some sort of Social Security or Supplemental Security Income. Additionally, especially in the case for Medicare, there is a short term payout for Medicare and after that the benefits from it are terminated and the individual will be left to having to pay for additional care in other ways – Medicaid, own assets and income, and long term care insurance.

Yes To Getting A Long Term Care Insurance Policy
There are some guidelines put out by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that suggests that you should consider getting long term care under several different circumstances. Given that Medicare and Medicaid have income and asset limits to qualify, paying for long term care will be your responsibility if your income and assets fall above the Medicare and Medicaid guidelines. With this being the case, you may consider getting a long term care insurance policy to help you protect your assets and income.
Other reasons to consider getting long term care include having freedom as you grow older. As you begin down the path of needing in home long term care, you will probably get a lot of advice as to how you should get your care and how you should pay for it. A lot of this advice will probably come from family or friends – and of course it is all out of a commitment for you to get the best care. However, only you know what you want “the best care” to be for you.
So if you want freedom in who you hire (Medicaid and Medicare have a say in who, how much, and where you get your care), how much help you get and where you get your care (preferably in home) you will need to have a sufficient income and asset base to pay for the level of care that you want. You may also want to pay for care, instead of getting care from your family and friends. This too will alleviate pressure for others to be making decisions and offering their opinions to you about how you “ought” to be cared for.

No To Getting A Long Term Care Insurance Policy
For this determination, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners suggest that you are not a great candidate for getting a long term care policy if you have limited assets and are on a limited fixed income. For example, if you are still in good health but your sole income is from Social Security or Supplemental Social Security it is likely that your income and asset base will be such that you’ll be able to qualify for other types of care assistance like Medicare and Medicaid.
If you are on a limited budget and income, it is likely that you won’t be able to afford a long term policy over time. You may be able to afford it in the beginning, but as time goes along, policy premiums increase and you’ll likely face not being able to pay for the policy at some point in the future. Once you stop paying your premiums you’ll lose your policy.

The Bottom Line About Getting a Long Term Care Policy
It is fairly cut and dry, if you have income and assets to protect then you should probably look into a long term care policy. You may have a lot of income and assets such that you don’t need to get a policy. If this is you, good for you, but for the rest of us, these policies can make a huge difference in keeping our hard life long earned money in the bank for just a little while longer.
For those who don’t have a whole lot of money in the bank or don’t make much money, then you’re probably not going to be able to afford a policy. It is best to check with a long term care insurance agent to help you make a determination about your eligibility.