Long Term Care Insurance (LTC)

  • Long term care insurance, sometimes called nursing home insurance, can be an invaluable benefit for PWDs, especially those with progressive illnesses such as PD.
  • The prospect of not having enough funds to live comfortably and safely in one’s later years can be harrowing, and a good LTC policy can help create some sense of calm about the future.
  • As with income replacement policies and other insurance vehicles, the benefits of an LTC policy are contractual in nature.
  • The terms of the policy will thus govern when you are entitled to benefits, what you will need to establish your entitlement, etc.
  • Typically, LTC policies are triggered by a need for assistance of some significant level.

An LTC policy will begin paying for care according to the terms of the policy. This can vary by contract:

  • In some cases, occasional help at home to assist with activities of daily living can trigger payments.
  • It may require a more moderate level of need, such as a the need for regular in-home care.
  • It may require meeting a higher standard based on inability, similar to Social Security’s threshold.
  • Or perhaps a higher level must be established, such as medical certification of the need for nursing home care.

Shopping for LTC policies

  • In shopping for LTC policies, or later for applying for benefits, it is important to know the specifics of your policy, not only for the triggering event(s), but also how the benefits may be used.
  • Many LTC policies will pay for care while you still live at home. Indeed, it is a mistake to call these policies nursing home insurance – they are that, but oftentimes much more.
  • LTC policies are typically capped at a contractual dollar amount, and will only pay up to the limits of your policy.
  • And in the case of a progressive illness like PD, the types of services they cover can burn through your eligible benefit quickly.
  • For many people, they are of great help, but not a financial solution.

 

Content for this section provided by Mark Rubin, J.D.

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