Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC or LTCI), an insurance product sold in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, helps provide for the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period. Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Individuals who require long-term care are generally not sick in the traditional sense, but instead, are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, continence, transferring (getting in and out of a bed or chair), and walking.
Age is not a determining factor in needing long-term care. About 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime. About 40% of those receiving long-term care today are between 18 and 64. Once a change of health occurs, long-term care insurance may not be available. Early onset (before age 65) Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are rare but do occur.
Long-term care insurance generally covers home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer’s facilities. If home care coverage is purchased, long-term care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It will pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to seven days a week, 24 hours a day (up to the policy benefit maximum).
Other benefits of long-term care insurance:
Many individuals may feel uncomfortable relying on their children or family members for support, and find that long-term care insurance could help cover out-of-pocket expenses. Without long-term care insurance, the cost of providing these services may quickly deplete the savings of the individual and/or their family.
Premiums paid on a long-term care insurance product may be eligible for an income tax deduction. The amount of the deduction depends on the age of the covered person. Benefits paid from a long-term care contract are generally excluded from income.
Business deductions of premiums are determined by the type of business. Generally corporations paying premiums for an employee are 100% deductible if not included in employee’s taxable income.
In the United States, Medicaid provides some of the benefits of long-term care insurance. A welfare program, Medicaid provides medically necessary services for people with limited resources who need nursing home care but can stay at home with special community care services. However, Medicaid generally does not cover long-term care provided in a home setting or for assisted living. People who need long-term care often prefer care in the home or in a private room in an assisted living facility.
When should you buy a Long Term Care policy?
Typically between the ages of 45 and 65. The best strategy is to lock in a low rate while you are young and healthy.