Long-term care refers to a broad range of services for people who have functional limitations or chronic health conditions. It's not just for the elderly - in fact, anyone may need long-term care because of an accident or a debilitating chronic illness.
Doesn't my health insurance cover long-term care?
Many people believe existing health insurance will pay for long-term care. The reality is that health insurance pays only for restorative care, not chronic care such as that required for a long-term illness. Medicare may pay the first 100 days in a long-term care facility if this follows a three-day hospitalization, and it is not deemed custodial care. Medicaid does cover long-term care needs. However, this program is intended for those people with incomes at or near the poverty level.
How can I protect myself and my assets should I require long-term care assistance?
A long-term care insurance policy supports choice and control over our lives by giving us the resources to choose who will provide care, where we will receive care, and how our assets will be used. You need to consider what percentage of potential long-term care expenses you want the insurer to assume and what you are willing to self-insure.
When should I start thinking about long-term care?
You're never too young to consider long-term care as debilitating accidents or chronic illness can occur at any age. Keep in mind - the older you are, the more coverage will cost you and it becomes less likely that you will qualify for preferential rates. The best time to consider long-term care is when you are young enough to lock in a low premium and healthy enough to obtain coverage. For most retirees, the fear of becoming dependent, regardless of whether or not they have insurance, is objectionable. Nothing can be done to ensure that you will not require long-term care, but a good insurance policy can preserve your dignity, power of choice, and peace of mind.
Are there any tax advantages if I purchase long-term care insurance?
Preferential tax treatment exists for both professional corporations and sole practitioners. Premiums may now be treated as a medical expense under the 2003 Health Savings Account. [IRS Section 223(d)(2)]. The federal government created Health Savings Accounts to enable those individuals with high deductible health plans to set money aside on either a tax deductible or pre-tax basis to pay for eligible expenses that count toward satisfying the deductible and out of pocket maximums. These funds may be used to pay for qualified long-term care insurance premiums.
COPIC Financial Service Group, Ltd. is an insurance brokerage firm representing a variety of insurance carriers. Products offered by COPIC Financial are not issued by COPIC Insurance Company.