Regular health insurance, including Medicare, doesn’t pay for help with these “custodial care” tasks, except in limited circumstances. Long-term care insurance does.
Yet faced with the coverage costs, many long-term care insurance shoppers get sticker shock and give up. Here’s how to keep the price affordable.
1. Buy sooner rather than later.
“The key to long-term care insurance is to apply early while it’s inexpensive,” says Kevin M. Lynch, assistant professor of insurance at the American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
You can buy long-term care insurance up to age 75 from most companies, but you’ll pay more at older ages and if you have health conditions.
Among 65-year-old applicants, 28% will be denied because of their health, Lynch says.
The ideal age to start shopping? “I think 50 is the magic number,” says Deb Newman, president of Newman Long Term Care, an independent insurance agency in Richfield, Minn.
Don’t give up if you’ve passed the half-century mark. Apply at least 60 days before your next birthday to get a price based on your current age, advises Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
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