Statistically, we’re all going to live longer than previous generations and that could be a mixed blessing. Experts say that half of us who reach 65 will need at least two years of help just getting through the day. If you don’t want to depend on your kids to bathe, dress and feed you, or deplete your life savings paying for round-the-clock care, look into a long term care insurance policy. The earlier you do, the better. In fact, 45 is not too soon to start shopping for long term care insurance, because the longer you put it off, the higher your annual premiums will be. There’s also a good chance that rates for long term care insurance will start going up as millions of aging baby boomers put increased demands on the system. Here’s what you want to look for.
Get a minimum of three long term care insurance quotes from reputable providers who have a reputation for dealing in this type of insurance. The last thing you need in your old age is to worry about your long term care provider going belly up. A.M. Best’s website is a good place to get basic info on the financial health and well-being of any insurance provider.
Look for long term care insurance coverage with the fewest restrictions. A nursing-home-care-only policy might be cheaper, but it could mean spending the rest of your life in a nursing home, which is not a pleasant prospect for most of us. You want a policy that lets you receive care wherever you want it.
Don’t pick a long term care insurance policy with a time limit. You want lifetime long term care coverage. You also want a long term care policy that is renewable for as long as you continue to pay the premiums. Your coverage should automatically increase annually, too, to adjust for inflation and rising health care cost. That increase in coverage shouldn’t require you to re-qualify and it shouldn’t increase your premiums. And be sure your long term care insurance covers mental diseases, nervous disorders and Alzheimer’s.