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Is There a 'Best Time' to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?

Quick Answer

If you knew when your health would change or the day and time you would need long-term health care, you would then know when you should purchase a Long-Term Care policy. You don't know. Since your health can change without notice, the best time to plan is when you are younger and healthier.
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Detailed Answer

Charles Schwab, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, and many other experts say somewhere between 50 to 65 is generally the most cost-effective time to obtain Long-Term Care Insurance. The younger you are, the lower the cost, but remember - it is your reasonably good health that allows you the opportunity to plan for the costs and burdens of declining health and aging.

Many articles fail to consider the risk of being declined for coverage due to health problems - Waiting On Long Term Care Insurance Can Lead to Decline | LTC News. You cannot wait until you actually need long-term care since every company medically underwrites applications for Long-Term Care Insurance. While most claims start when a person is in their late 70s or 80s, people still need long-term health care much younger. 

You Can't Purchase Coverage When You Need Care

If a person already needs help bathing or dressing or has health issues like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, it is too late - you would be uninsurable and unable to purchase new coverage. But, if you already own a policy, they cannot cancel it because your health changes or you get older.

You might think you are in good health, but your existing health issues may be an underwriting concern for insurance companies who are projecting those with higher than average risk.

Many factors go into the decision as to when to purchase Long-Term Care Insurance. Generally, the best time to pull the trigger is before retirement, when you enjoy reasonably good health and premiums are still very affordable. 

Today, most consumers are purchasing policies in their 50s. By the time to reach age 45, you should be very focused on your future retirement. As you get into your 50s, many people start seeing changes in their health and body. The 50s is when you start getting diagnosed with things like high blood pressure, and you start gaining more weight and notice changes in your joints. 

Premiums Based on Age and Health When You Apply

Premiums for Long-Term Care Insurance are based on several factors, including your age, health, and family history. As you get older, your parents get older, and many companies consider some family history as part of underwriting. 

While purchasing younger means you will be paying the premium longer, you will always pay LESS over your life when you buy younger. You should consider your budget but keep in mind Long-Term Care Insurance is a vital part of your overall retirement plan. 

Purchasing younger also locks in your good health, and the insurance company can never change your premium because your health changed or you become older.

LTC Insurance is Custom Designed to Fit Budget and Need

Policies are custom designed so that you can develop an affordable plan with the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Even a small policy can have a considerable impact. Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance offers you additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Most states participate - Compare State's Long-Term Care Details | LTC News.

Taxes/Health Savings Accounts

If you own a business or have other types of self-employment, you could benefit from a tax deduction if you purchase a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Some states are considering following the State of Washington's lead in taxing you if you do not own a policy. The tax affects everyone over age 18 with earned income.

If your employer offers a Health Savings Account, you can use the pre-tax money in the account to reimburse yourself the premium - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide | LTC News.

Remember, your good health allows you to plan for the future costs and burdens of aging. Your health can change without notice. Those who recommend that you wait until you are older to purchase LTC Insurance fail to consider that not only are the costs higher - but often, you may not qualify for coverage at all. 

Start planning when you have the most available and affordable options.

Get Accurate Quotes

Work With A Trusted Specialist

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

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Get Accurate Quotes

Work With A Trusted Specialist

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
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