7 Tips for Shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance
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Researchers at Georgetown and Penn State claim that 70% of people 65 and older will need long-term care. These policies help ensure you get the care you need if money is an issue, and protect cash so there is still a legacy to leave to your heirs. As with the rest of the healthcare industry, long-term care insurance is in a state of flux. Here are some tips that will help you make a sound decision.
  1. Buy in your 50s. This is when experts say premiums are most affordable and coverage is easiest to obtain. For each year you delay the decision, expect a 3-4% increase.
  2. Do not buy on price alone. Work with an agent who has expertise in this field. They can guide you toward stable carriers with high ratings and the wherewithal to remain strong in this changing environment.
  3. Ask about shared benefits. This rider will essentially double the benefits available to one spouse, yet fewer than half of couples opt for this rider.
  4. Purchase policies together. You can get discounts of up to 30% when you purchase at the same time as your spouse.
  5. Inflation riders are a must. Your benefit will not keep pace with the rising costs in healthcare without one. Inflation protection can cost 50% more, but this is no place to skimp.
  6. Read the fine print. Make sure you understand what triggers the benefit, as well as how to calculate waiting periods.
  7. Consider hybrids and conventional policies. Hybrid contracts are gaining in popularity. They allow you to pay the entire premium upfront, locking in benefit pricing. They also combine life insurance with long-term care to ensure policy owners and their families receive a benefit.
Source: Wall Street Journal

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