miércoles, 19 de diciembre de 2012

Long-Term Care Insurance - III

Long-term care policies vary widely in cost, benefit amounts, and coverage. While many of us do not have the time or the expertise to make an informed decision about whether or what to buy, there are people who can help. If you decide to work with an advisor, be sure to go to someone who has no financial stake in your purchase of an insurance policy.
What should I ask before I purchase a long-term care insurance policy?
There are numerous long-term care insurance policies being sold today. Here are some questions to ask as you compare the various policies.
• Will the insurance premiums I pay now remain level or increase as I get older?
• Is the benefit amount inflation-protected? How much will this protection increase the monthly premium?
• What is the daily benefit amount or percent of cost that the policy will pay for care in each venue covered by the policy?
• Will the policy cover assistance in my home, an adult daycare facility, an assisted living facility, or a hospice, as well as skilled, intermediate, or custodial care in a nursing home?
• Will the policy allow a family member or friend to provide care? This is called “informal caregiving,” care provided by someone who is not a licensed care provider.
• What is the length and definition of the waiting period before any benefit will be paid and is there a deductible?
• How long over the life of the policy will benefits be paid?
• Are premiums waived when I am receiving care?
• What payment options are available? What would be best for me?
For more information about long-term care insurance, get a copy of A Shopper’s Guide to Long- Term Care Insurance from either your state insurance department (or call (800) Medicare to get their number) or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 2302 McGee Street, Suite 800, Kansas City, MO, 64108. You may also call your State Health Insurance Assistance program.
Just as financial planning can help insure that our retirement income goals are met, planning can help insure that our health and long-term care needs are met as well. Understanding what the four parts of Medicare provide and what is available for those with low and no income or assets through Medicaid can help us plan what we need to do now to provide for our futures and enjoy being older women. Keep eating that apple a
day, but take the time to plan for your health and long-term care future.

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