No one ever anticipates the possibility of a tragedy, sudden onset of disease, or an accident, but these do happen to people everyday. Some of those same people did not consider the need for long term care insurance to cover the cost of a nursing home, rehab facility, or skilled home health care. Christopher Reeve, the actor who portrayed Superman, was unexpectedly paralyzed when he fell from his horse in a 1995 riding accident. Mr. Reeve never expected he would need long term care insurance.
What You Need to Know Before You Buy
Calculating the cost of long term care insurance is based on three factors: current age, current health condition, and where you live. Obviously, annual premiums are lower when you’re younger and will be locked in at a specific rate level, even if the condition of your health changes later. Long term care and nursing costs are also typically higher in metropolitan areas. Finally, because costs are likely to rise due to inflation, be sure and get an inflation rider.
Buy Long Term Care Insurance Early
The best time to buy long term care insurance is when you reach early to mid 50′s and still enjoy reasonably good health. Premium costs will be lower and the possibility of a pre-existing condition will be less. A 50-year-old can buy adequate long term care insurance for around $100 a month. For a 73-year-old, that same policy may be five times as much or more.
All it takes is a little planning and you can find a way to purchase long term care insurance for yourself, or for your parents who are currently healthy. Your employer may also offer an option or plan to purchase this type of insurance. Don’t depend on the government, your kids, a loved one, or even your kids to take care of you if something happens when you’re older.