Shopping for Long Term Care Insurance, just like shopping for any insurance, can be difficult. All the different companies, policy options, and benefit choices can be confusing for someone who isn’t sure exactly what they are looking at, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Long Term Care Insurance can help provide you financial assistance in a time of serious need and preserve your assets at the same time, so it shouldn’t be overlooked or put off because of the buying process. The fact is, 7 in 10 American seniors will need long term care at some point, and a very small percentage of those seniors have long term care coverage. Buying a Long Term Care Insurance policy can put you ahead of the majority and in a place of financial security should the need for long term care ever come about. There are a few basic tips that can help you have the simplest and most rewarding shopping experience possible, so read our suggestions below.
1) Begin browsing early
Chances are if you ever need care, you won’t need it until your 60s, 70s, or 80s, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until then to buy it. On the contrary, the longer you wait to buy, the lower your chances of medically qualifying for a policy. By the time you have a need for care, it’s much too late to apply. Instead of procrastinating the purchase, start looking at policies in your late 40s or early 50s.
Get a good idea of your options and make sure you understand the differences between them all before you lock down and choose one. The best time to buy a policy is in your early 50s because age and health both have a big impact on the premium rates you receive. The younger and healthier you are, the lower your rates will be.
2) Look only at blue chip companies
As tempting as it may be, we don’t suggest buying from a small, local agency or anything of the sort. The biggest companies are the best for a reason; they have knowledge of the topic and experience and data to back it up. When you buy a policy from a blue chip company, there is almost no question that your claim will be paid should you ever submit one. If you buy from a smaller, lesser known, lower rated company, you may run the risk of running into problems when it comes time to submit a claim.
The large insurers have had time to adjust their actuarial assessments, change premium rates, and alter other estimates over the years in order to produce the best Long Term Care Insurance product. It’s always best to buy from a blue chip carrier. Buying from an independent agent who works with all the major companies is your best bet.
3) Choose Inflation Protection
Once you’ve decided on a policy, you must choose the additional riders that will go along with that policy. Truth be told, there is really only one rider that every person buying this insurance needs and that’s Inflation Protection. WIthout Inflation Protection, your policy is just another poor investment. There is no telling how much long term care will cost 20 or 30 years down the road, but Inflation Protection raises the value of your benefits to keep pace with inflation, ensuring your benefits don’t lose value over time.
When you look at the numbers, Inflation Protection will cost you more up front. In just a short time, though, the benefit’s growing value will have made the cost well worth it. Buying a policy without it simply isn’t a smart move.
Long term care brings about all kinds of unknowns, but fortunately, with Long Term Care Insurance, how you will pay for care doesn’t have to be one of them. Read more about the basic components of Long Term Care Insurance or find out if a policy is right for you here.