According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 70% of people turning age 65 will require long-term care, such as assistance with basic personal activities during their lifetimes. With costs of this care ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 a month or more, planning to address that risk is a smart move.
One solution is long-term care insurance. A policy can protect your estate against the impact of extended medical or rehabilitation services. However, the cost of insurance may have you considering “taking your chances” and letting Medicare or Medicaid step in once your resources are depleted. But what happens when either you or your spouse requires nursing home care while the other is healthy and living independently?
Purchasing long-term care insurance has drawbacks. For one, if you never need long-term care, the premiums you paid are wasted. You may be able to mitigate this somewhat by choosing a flexible policy with life insurance benefits.
Another drawback: You face the risk that the insurance company you select will go out of business. Choosing an insurer that is highly rated for financial strength can ease your mind.
On the plus side, long-term care insurance offers tax benefits. When you itemize, all or part of the premium for qualified plans are deductible as health care costs. Depending on the type of policy you buy, benefits paid are generally not considered taxable income.
If you think long-term care insurance is right for you, remember that coverage costs less when you’re younger. Premiums are based on your age and health, and tend to increase past age 60. Another cost-saving move to consider is a “shared-care” policy with a combined pool of coverage that you and your spouse share.
Contact our office before making the final decision to buy long-term care insurance. We’ll help you do a cost-benefit analysis.