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Elimination Period

Quick Answer

An elimination period is a time between qualifying for Long-Term Care Insurance benefits and receiving them. These are also referred to as waiting periods.

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Detailed Answer

Elimination periods occur after you qualify for Long-Term Care Insurance benefits but before you receive them. Think of these periods as deductibles—similar to deductibles for health or auto insurance policies.

Policyholders are responsible for covering their long-term care costs and needs during their elimination period. Elimination periods start when policyholders have their first day of paid care. The care could be paid for by health insurance, Medicare, or out-of-pocket.

Generally, elimination periods only happen once in a lifetime. You won't have to wait to receive benefits each time you file a claim, only the first time. However, each policy is different, and it's important to review yours.

Elimination period lengths can range depending on your policy. Typical elimination periods are 0, 30, 60, or 90 days. Some companies also offer longer elimination periods, which can be risky in dire long-term care situations.

The longer your elimination, the lower your premium will be. The shorter your elimination period, the higher your premium will be.

Elimination periods use either service or calendar days. Service days are days that you receive long-term health care services. Calendar days follow the calendar, including weekends.

Policies that use service days require individuals to receive care to count against the elimination period. This can take a long time if you only receive care a few days a week.

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