Aware Senior Care’s beginner’s guide to long-term care insurance in the state of North Carolina.
For those over the age of 65, there is a 70 percent chance that the need for long-term care will arise. Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) can help to make this care more affordable. For those who may be considering this type of insurance, we’ll help you navigate the basics and major considerations of buying LTCI for elderly care in North Carolina, where the demand is higher than the national average.
When to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance – Understanding the Policy
As with any insurance, it’s critical to find a policy that’s right for you. Do you need home care? Specialized Alzheimer’s care? Respite care? Finding the right policy for you will help keep costs of the long term care down and provide you with exactly what you need.
A doctor or other healthcare professional typically must certify that an individual needs assistance with two or three Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) for LTCI benefits to kick in. In addition, there may be an “elimination period” during which you cannot use your policy (many of these last 90 days).
Depending on the policy, most coverage lasts between three and five years. In rare cases, coverage can last much longer. However, rates for these plans will likely be much higher. Pay attention to inflation; for home health aides, the growth of senior care in Raleigh is expected to increase 2 percent higher than the national average over the next five years.
Tips for Finding (and Keeping) Low Premiums
•Purchase your insurance early – experts recommend during your 50s for the lowest price.
•Buy joint insurance (i.e. with a spouse).
•Do research on your company’s rate history. Some companies have a habit of raising rates frequently.
•Ask about elimination period extensions. Some insurance companies will lower your premiums if you extend your elimination period, such as up to six months before coverage kicks in.