Who Should Purchase Long Term Care Insurance?

(In short, everyone.)

Written by Ashley Surinak
Written by Ashley Surinak

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Ashley Surinak to be our BA insurance writer. Ashley specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.


Table of Contents

Who should purchase long term care insurance?
Why do you need long term care insurance?
When should you purchase long term care insurance?
Does it make sense for everyone to purchase long term care insurance?

Who should purchase long-term care insurance?

I'm getting older and I'm starting to think about the future. I've been saving for retirement for decades, but I'm also thinking about various costs that could creep up as I age. As much as I don't enjoy thinking about it, this also includes long-term care. I've heard of long-term care insurance but I'm not sure if I need it. Who should purchase long-term care insurance?

No one enjoys thinking about long term care, but doing it early and planning out when and if you'll purchase it is important. Let's just say that it's a good idea for everyone to purchase some form of long-term care insurance. 

You never know what could happen, even if both you and your partner are in good health. That being said, long-term care insurance will protect your nest egg and provide peace of mind should anything happen whether you expect it or not.

Long-term care provides people with nursing home care, assisted living facilities, adult daycare, or even in-home care depending on your conditions or needs. Depending on how long you or your loved one is in long-term care, costs can total up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. While long-term care insurance won't cover all of your costs, it will cover a portion. 

It's important to note that about 52 percent of individuals turning 65 today will require long-term care in their lifetimes. So if you think long term care is irrelevant to you, you're wrong. 

Deciding whether to purchase long-term care insurance is a big task and not one you should do alone. Your independent insurance agent can talk you through the considerations and provide you with a broad range of quotes from different insurance providers when you're ready to take the next step.

Why do you need long-term care insurance?

As I briefly mentioned above, long-term care insurance helps cut the costs of long-term care. And because long-term care can cost upwards of $300,000 or more, depending on the required services and how long they're needed, this is not an insignificant amount of money.

Generally speaking, long-term care insurance policies can cover any of the following types of care:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted living 
  • Adult daycare
  • Home modification due to disabilities
  • Hospice
  • Respite care (i.e., short-term relief for primary caregivers, often family members)

Again, the costs of any of these for you can be quite costly or could put a significant financial burden on your family should you pass away without paying for these costs. 

The annual premium for an average long-term care insurance policy is worth it to many for peace of mind. If you're wondering why you may need long term care insurance, you should talk to an independent insurance agent to weigh the pros and cons.

When should I purchase long-term care insurance?

There is no designated age that makes it right for everyone to purchase long-term care insurance. A lot depends on your health condition and at which age you think you're more likely to file a claim. Statistics show that almost 90 percent of all long-term care claims are filed by people above the age of 70. 

This means it could be potentially wasteful for you to purchase long-term care insurance when you're 50 depending on your health and other situational factors.

There's a balance to this. For example, certain insurance providers may reject you if you develop a condition and later apply for insurance. So while you may be healthy now, you may also want to consider purchasing a policy around age 60 while you're still in good health but before you develop any major health conditions. 

After all, you could put the money you would pay in annual premiums to good use elsewhere, such as in investments. That way, you'll still get the protections of long-term care insurance without wasting your savings by purchasing it too early in life.

Because the "right time" to purchase long term care insurance is different for everyone, it's a good idea to speak with your independent agent about what makes the most sense for you.

Does it make sense for everyone to purchase long-term care insurance?

Again, you never know what's going to happen later in life. Long-term care insurance is a form of preparedness so that you don't spend all of your savings on long-term care or stick your family members with the costs of that care after you've passed. 

That being said, it makes a lot of sense for everyone to purchase some level of long-term care insurance. To discuss what makes the most sense for you, it's best to speak with your independent insurance agent. They'll have a variety of providers and coverage options so that you know you have the right level of care.

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