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Personal considerations to make before buying long-term care insurance

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 Kelly Blog PhotoWith life expectancy rates continuing to rise and the median age at an all-time high within the United States, more people are purchasing long-term care (LTC) insurance. Long-term care policies cover a wide range of medical, personal and social service expenses you may need if you have a prolonged illness or disability. The majority of costs for extended care are not covered by health insurance or Medicare. Without LTC insurance, these costs are paid from one's personal savings and assets.

So you are wise to consider purchasing long-term care insurance. But before you do, think about your needs and make sure you take these personal factors into account.

Age. The older you are, the more likely it is that you will need long-term care. However, having an accident when you are younger that creates a disability can't be predicted. The younger you are when you buy the insurance, the lower your premiums will be.

Gender. Women are more likely to need long-term care as they generally have longer life expectancies than men.

Family situation. If you have a spouse or adult children, you may be more likely to receive care from them at home. If family care is not available and you can't care for yourself, outside paid care may be your only option. Different policies cover different types of care. Some even pay family members who provide services in your home. Consider the types benefits your policy covers as well as what care is available in your area.

Housing. Think about where you want to live and whether your home will continue to meet your needs. Are your bathroom and bedroom on the first floor? Will your doorways accommodate a wheelchair?

Lifestyle. If you eat healthy and exercise regularly, you are less likely to develop a chronic condition that requires long-term care.

Your health status. Do you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure? Do chronic conditions run in your family? If you say yes to one or both, you may be at a greater risk for a debilitating condition than another person of the same age and gender.

Financial resources. You may want to consider long-term insurance to help protect your assets. However, if you have few assets and a limited income, consider your choice carefully. Some experts recommend you spend no more than five percent of your income on a long-term care policy.

There are many other factors to consider when purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. If you'd like to learn more, schedule a personal phone/online presentation with us by calling 1-888-247-5905 or register online.

Sources: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information

Kelly Behnke, CIC, CISR, ACSR
Personal Insurance Consultant