In talking with several families recently, there seems to be a reticence to start benefiting from the Long Term Care insurance they own. Whether it’s the idea to save it ’til later when things get really expensive or that they won’t qualify … I’ve seen it too often recently that I want to encourage you to apply for the benefits now.
A few reasons to take it now include:
- Once you turn it on, you don’t have to make anymore payments.
- Should the individual with the benefits predecease the use of the insurance, or before they have claimed all of the benefits, you won’t get any of that money back. Exhaust the plan before you exhaust personal savings.
Many of the plans have limits and caps, but there are still a few really good ones that don’t. Do you know what your plan limits are?
Most plans have an exception for individuals diagnosed with dementia versus having to qualify with two or more activities of daily living. First read through the plan to find the qualifications and then call the provider and ask about the policy. Key questions to ask include:
- Is there an exclusionary period? Many plans have 90 and 100-day exclusion periods once the individual qualifies for the benefits.
- How much per day is covered for Home Care Assistance? Most plans have a dollar amount per day for personal care assistants in your home. You can actually set up the billing so they bill the insurance provider directly and you only have to cover any overages. Many cover up to 10 and 12 hours per day.
- How much does it pay toward Assisted Living; Skilled Nursing; Memory Care? It’s good to know how much will be covered when you are making a decision about a care community.
This truly is a use it or lose it scenario and from what I have seen, there is no benefit to NOT taking it as soon as you qualify … and that could simply be a diagnosis of dementia. Experienced.