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Planning for your future is an ongoing process with no simple format. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for questions like whether to purchase long-term care insurance. Below, we discuss some of the pros and cons of purchasing long-term care insurance. If you are making plans for your future, call a seasoned West Palm Beach asset protection and elder law attorney to help protect yourself, your family, and your legacy.
Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) provides many benefits for individuals who are likely to need it. LTCI provides peace of mind that you will have funds to take care of yourself as you age and should your health deteriorate. LTCI policies are generally “guaranteed renewable,” meaning that your provider cannot cancel the policy because of your age, physical condition, or mental health. As long as you keep paying your premiums, you keep your policy. If you are quite certain that you will wind up in nursing care based on your family history and personal health, then LTCI is likely worth the price. Frankly, most individuals (68 percent of people aged 65 and older) will require long-term care, so from that perspective, it is a reasonable investment. LTCI benefits are also not taxed as income.
Moreover, out-of-pocket expenses for long-term care are absolutely exorbitant. Even for a semi-private room in a nursing home, you are likely to owe an average of $10,000 or more per month. LTCI may be expensive, but it’s much cheaper than saving to pay for long-term care (or starting to pay out of pocket once required).
LTCI is not without its drawbacks. First of all, the cost. LTCI is not cheap, and it is hard to estimate exactly how much coverage you will need. LTCI is also relatively new, so the appropriate market price is not yet clearly established; you may be overpaying. Especially if you end up not using it at all, you may have wasted tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
The second biggest negative aspect of LTCI is that you must qualify for coverage. LTCI providers require applicants to pass a physical before they will issue a policy, and as many as one in five applicants are rejected. Even if you do qualify, any preexisting health conditions are likely to raise your premiums. The earlier you purchase LTCI and the healthier you are, the more years you will be paying premiums before you use it. If you are already advanced in age and have health conditions, you might not qualify. It can be a delicate balance to know whether it is both worth the cost and available.
If you are considering whether to purchase LTCI, consult with a knowledgeable elder law and long-term care planning attorney. Your lawyer will help you evaluate the costs, benefits, your circumstances, and the circumstances of your family. Your attorney will also help ensure that if you do purchase a plan, you get the right plan for you and at an appropriate cost.
A skilled West Palm Beach elder law attorney can help you and your family plan appropriately to maximize your chances to qualify for Medicaid and other needs-based governmental programs, and to explore all of your options for long-term care. If you are in need of a seasoned and dedicated Florida asset protection and elder law attorney, contact the experienced West Palm Beach trust and estates attorneys Shalloway & Shalloway at 561-686-6200.