Think twice about long-term care policy

OlympiaNovember 16, 2013 

I think many people do not understand that long-term care (LTC) insurance is a huge money-maker for the insurance companies and rarely pays out benefits to the insured. Most policies require a 100-day waiting period after you have met the insurance company’s requirements for LTC. Thus, you must pay for the first 100 days of care out of pocket. By the time you meet those requirements and pay for 100 days of care yourself, it’s a good bet that you won’t live long enough to see those benefits.

Additionally, the policy may require that the care be provided by a licensed provider (CNA, LPN or RN). At minimum that will cost $18 to $22/hour. Thus, a policy paying $100-$150/day in benefits will provide home care for only five to eight hours a day. That leaves the other 18 hours for family to provide care. This is one of the most stressful jobs anyone will ever have. I have done it twice in the last two years, and fighting for my mother’s benefits with the LTC insurance company while she was dying was beyond frustrating. She died shortly before she met the 100-day requirement. All I can say is, think twice before investing thousands of dollars annually in a LTC policy that may never pay you benefits.

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