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Why Long Term Care Insurance Is Essential

May 3, 2008
Long-term Care was introduced during the 1970s as a specialized form of nursing home insurance, Since then long term care insurance has since been expanded to cover a more diverse range of services and caters to people of any age. The large majority of people requiring long-term care are still over the age of 65 years but more and more younger people have realized the necessity to have extended health insurance. For many of the elderly, this required care is usually ongoing but long-term care insurance can also apply too much shorter-term situations such as the care needed after an accident or certain types of surgery.

The purpose of Long-term care insurance is not to meet medical bills. That is the domain of mainstream health insurance providers or Medicare. LTC Insurance is expressly designed to meet the extra costs to enable you to live in your own home and continue with daily activities in a way that gives the client independence and control of their care.

Many people balk at the need for buying Long-term care insurance as they mistake it for nursing home insurance and don't realize the care can be provided for them in their own homes. Home care from skilled nurses can be an uncomfortable subject for a number of people. However people are living longer because of modern medicines and different types of lifestyles to the previous generations, the number of people over the age of 65 is likely to double by the year 2050, a consequence of extended life expectancy is the older a person gets the more likely they will suffer from chronic illnesses such as strokes or Alzheimer's. In America it is estimated that there is a 40 percent risk for those over the age of 65 having to enter a nursing home for long-term care.

There are many misconceptions that mainstream healthcare such as Medicare will cover the costs of long-term care. The simple fact is that Medicare will pay for short-term periods of care in the home or a very limited stay in a care provider's facility, but only after strict criteria has been meet. Medicare can pay for long term care but usually only after most financial assets of the client have been used up.

There are a number of providers in the retail insurance market that provide LTC insurance. One of the largest carriers of coverage for the individual in the U.S is John Hancock. John Hancock LTC begin providing LTC coverage in 1988 after having entered the insurance retail market in 1987.

There are important issues to consider when looking at when you should get LTC insurance. The younger you are the less you premiums will cost you. Now the longer you go without a claim the more coverage your policy will provide for you, this helps to offset that nursing care in the home costs have been increasing a lot faster than the rate of inflation.

If you have a pre existing serious health condition chances are high that you will not be accepted by Long-term insurance carriers. It is therefore prudent to make inquiries before these conditions occur rather than try to after. When looking for LTC insurance a Comprehensive Policy is the best option as this will cover not only the costs of a nursing care facility but those associated with home health care as well. When looking at Home care you need to be aware that most providers standard polices only allow for coverage of up to four hours a day, if you think you may need coverage the policy premiums can increase dramatically.

When choosing your insurer then make sure they have a good reputation, large amount of assets and good profitability there is nothing worse than seeing all your health benefits going down the drain because poor management has caused the financial collapse of your provider.
About the Author
Drew Nichols recommends John Hancock LTC as they are one of the largest providers of Long-term care insurance with billions of dollars in reserve and a consistent long term record.
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