Long-Term Care Insurance Offers More Choices
As healthcare costs increase, long-term care insurance companies offer more options.
It’s no surprise that the price of healthcare in America is rising, and quickly. One of the largest medical
costs today is long-term care. Caring for someone who cannot take care of themselves, whether they
need an in-home companion or round-the-clock care, can be devastatingly expensive. In fact, the
average cost of a single-occupant private room a nursing home was almost $75,000, according to a
New York Life study conducted in 2006. And that’s why long-term care insurance is available. Its goal is
to reduce that financial burden.
As with every product, long-term care insurance has its pros and cons but a large number of Americans
haven’t even considered this product as part of their overall retirement planning. That’s why recently more
insurance and financial companies have begun offering long-term care insurance with a variety of other
benefits and options.
One of the biggest complaints against some long-term care policies has been
their price tag. While most policies can potentially save their holders a great
deal in medical costs, they can still be expensive.
In an effort to increase the use of the insurance, some insurance companies
are beginning to reduce their rates on policies by as much as 15 percent.
Some companies may also start adding a “shared care” element to their
policies. In theory, that would allow someone who ran out of long-term care
benefits to begin using their spouse’s benefits.
Confusion and Availability
Some people are simply confused about what the insurance is and how you
can purchase it. So in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion, companies
are beginning to simplify their policies and the process to buy the insurance.
Companies are also teaming with more employers to add long-term care
coverage to the list of employee benefits. This is similar to the way that group
life insurance has become a staple of many companies’ benefits plan.
Return on Investment
One final criticism comes from people who purchase long-term care policies
and end up never needing them. While this is an obvious risk you take when
purchasing any insurance, companies are now working to increase the benefit
of having the insurance.
Long term care policies are also becoming more flexible and more able to
tailor policies to an individuals needs and are working to become more of an
investment option, in some cases they may even combine an annuity feature.
With all of the improvements and added features of long-term care policies,
more Americans may begin to take another look at this product. And while
long-term care insurance isn’t for everyone, it may be a great addition to your
retirement plan. You should always work with a financial professional before
purchasing the insurance. Long-term care insurance may be worth considering, as the cost of medical
care doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
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