Is a Small Long-Term Care Policy Worth the Money?

Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed, so you get to decide the total amount of benefits you wish to have in place. Sometimes a person with a limited budget wants to have something in place to help. 

Small plans can be beneficial, especially with in-home care. Often an individual may only need a few hours of help, especially at the beginning. 

For example, if you received thirty hours of in-home care a week. 

According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, the national average cost of in-home care runs about $23 an hour. The cost would run $2990 a month. A $3000 a month benefit would easily pay for much of this care. 

What if you only had $2000 a month in LTC Insurance benefits? That would provide you with almost 87 hours of in-home care every month. Would 87 hours of paid care services help you and your family? The answer is - absolutely yes!

Let's take a $5000 a month assisted living bill. If you live in any type of long-term care facility, you probably will sell your home since you would no longer need it. The expenses of homeownership (taxes, mortgage, upkeep) would all disappear. Your income (pension, social security, earnings off investments) would all still be available. 

Using the same example of a $3000 a month LTC Insurance benefit, would a $2000 a month expense be more comfortable to handle than a $5000 a month expense? Again, the answer is yes. 

Some Help is Better Than No Help

The point is simple. Some benefit is better than nothing. You probably don't want to place the future responsibility of caregiving on your family. Caregivers face physical and emotional stress and anxiety.

Plus, policies provide many other resources, in addition to money to pay for your future extended care. Most policies offer case management, respite care, additional money available to pay for ramps, chair lifts, braces on your shower, etc. These benefits are usually on top of the money used to pay for care services. 

Short-Term/Limited Duration Plans

One option for smaller benefits is a limited duration or short-term care policy. These plans are often called 'recovery care,' but they usually pay the same type of benefits as a traditional LTC Insurance policy.

In many states, these short-term/limited-duration policies are available. These policies are not "Long-Term Care Insurance;" however, they offer one or two years of care. These types of policies are usually very affordable at most ages, and they offer broader underwriting. With broader underwriting criteria, those with health problems that might make it more difficult to obtain traditional coverage can get this short-term coverage.

When you have no coverage in place, 100% of the responsibility of your future long-term health care is on you and your family. A Long-Term Care Insurance specialist, who works with the major companies, will help you design an appropriate plan based on your budget and other factors. 

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