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There may come a time when you are no longer able to take care of yourself. When that happens, you may need assistance in performing your day-to-day functions–and unless you have a family member willing to help it could end up costing a great deal of money. Even with your family members doing what they can to help, you may eventually need professional care. To alleviate the cost, it may be a good idea to look into buying a long term care insurance policy. Following are a few tips on how and when to get long term care insurance.
What Is Long Term Care Insurance?
When long term care becomes necessary, it’s because you’re no longer able to care for yourself, and your deteriorating condition has made it impossible for friends and/or family to take care of you. Everyday functions, such as bathing, dressing, walking, or getting in or out of bed are things we all take for granted–until you’re unable to do them. At that point, you need care, and if you need it for an extended period of time it becomes long term care.
Long term care insurance is a policy you can buy that will provide partial payment to a healthcare professional entrusted with helping you. This care can take place within your home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. A long term care policy pays for these costs over and above your regular health insurance policy and/or government assistance, such as Medicare.
Advantage of Long Term Care Insurance
The cost of long term care continues to rise, along with other facets of medical care. Carrying long term care insurance will make sure you’re able to enjoy the best of care should the need arise. The peace of mind associated with having long term care coverage is important because it will allow you and your family to concentrate on getting you the very best care that is available.
How to Get Long Term Care Insurance
The best way to make sure you’ll have enough money to support yourself when you’re older is to start saving money as soon as you enter the workforce. If you put a percentage of your paycheck into savings each and every week, and don’t use it for anything except an emergency, you should end up with a nice amount to live on after you retire. Carrying health insurance along the way will ensure you get good medical care and will hopefully reach retirement age in good health. In anticipation of long term care needs, you may also want to take out a long term care policy along with your regular health insurance. You should make sure you apply for a long term care policy before it becomes necessary. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get long term care coverage. At the very least the price will be prohibitive unless you buy your policy in advance. The older you are when you take out a long term care policy, the more your premiums will be.
When to Get Long Term Care Insurance
Age is not a determining factor when it comes to long term care. Although the majority of long term care patients are over the age of 65, an increasing number of patients are between the ages of 18 and 64. People who need long term care may not be sick in the traditional sense. Instead, the majority are simply unable to perform their ADL’s, which stands for Activities of Daily Living. That means they need help in basic, everyday things, such as bathing, walking, cooking and eating, or getting in and out of bed. Long term care insurance helps pay for the cost of professional assistance in performing these functions. Although some people can anticipate the need for long term care in their future, such as someone who is diagnosed with a debilitating disease like Multiple Sclerosis, most people who eventually need long term care insurance have ample time to plan for it. The best time to get long term care insurance is to take out a policy long before retirement. That way you will be prepared if and when the situation arises. The traditional accepted age to buy a long term care policy is about age 60, although some people feel it would be better to do so about 10 years earlier.
About the Author: This is a guest post from Finley Crest. Finley writes about senior care for SeniorCare.net.