A Brief Long Term Care Insurance Comparison

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Many elderly people need assistance when they are no longer able to take care of themselves because of health-related issues. They may need help with personal care at home or more advanced medical care in a skilled nursing facility. Many organizations are available for help and they include home care agencies, adult day care centers, retirement communities and so on. All of these facilities charge for their services and are not always affordable to the average American. That is why it is so important to do a long-term care insurance comparison before a serious health issue surfaces.

All long term care policies vary in their costs and coverage levels. They assume many of the costs that are not covered by Medicare. Some provide limited home care benefits in addition to skilled nursing care. That is why all policies should be reviewed carefully before purchase. Most policies pay a fixed amount per day while a person is confined to a nursing home or is a patient in a personal care facility. This fixed amount pays all or some of what the daily charges are in these facilities. Payment of policy benefits also vary from policy to policy. Some benefits begin on the first day of a nursing home stay or when Medicare benefits end or when the required elimination periods (number of days that insured must pay before policy benefits are paid) are satisfied. Of course, policies that start paying on the first day are more expensive than policies requiring an elimination period.

All policies have restrictions attached to them. Common restrictions include prior hospitalization before skilled nursing home care is paid by the policy. Other policies require an elimination period before home care can begin. In others, a pre-existing condition can delay coverage for six months following the effective date of the policy. Some policies offer shorter waiting periods for pre-existing conditions and that is an important consideration if you are in poor health. Some policies require that a physician approve a nursing home or home care in order to assure that the coverage is not just for convenience purposes. These and many other components need to be looked at when doing a long term care insurance comparison.