Long Term Care
|Advantages to Purchasing LTC Insurance
The financial risks of illness and injury are rarely considered when one is healthy and able, but that is also when the greatest choice of products with the best flexibility in cost is available for those considering LTC insurance. Having a LTC insurance policy enables access to quality care and choice of care provider when the need is greatest. Purchasing a policy when a person does not need it gives them the opportunity to investigate the company’s financial stability (whether it is solid and how it is rated), operating performance, insurance industry rating, and its claims ratio. Rates should be guaranteed renewable, and coverage shouldn’t be canceled because of age or a change in a person’s health nor should premiums be increased on a class-wide basis.
There are several government organizations that can be of assistance in the purchase, evaluation, and monitoring of LTC insurance. One is the state health insurance assistance programâ€”SHIPâ€”that can review the policy before the actual purchase. Another excellent organization is the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA), which protects consumers from the financial risks of injury and illness by providing affordable and flexible services that represent a choice. In the United States, HIAA focuses on managed care, and specifically advocates on issues such as disability income and LTC insurance.
The mission of the Health Insurance Association of America is to preserve financial security, freedom of choice, and dignity in LTC insurance. Because of its mission, HIAA seeks to:
â€¢ Provide access to quality care and let a person choose where care is obtained.
â€¢ Eliminate out-of-pocket costs and avoid reliance on government programs for the poor.
â€¢ Ensure quality of life for a patient’s caregivers
Advantages to purchasing LTC insurance
Having a LTC insurance policy cuts out-of-pocket costs and keeps the patient from having to rely on government assistance programs. Studies from the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimate that people with LTC insurance save between $60,000 and $75,000 in nursing home costs, more than $100,000 for assisted living, and actually ensure a higher quality of life for their caregiver. By having LTC at home, spouses and other family members are able to continue working or run errands while their loved one is being care for.
People of all ages usually prefer to receive LTC in their own homes, or in homelike assisted-living facilities. More than three-quarters of older Americans in need of LTC live in their communities. Most receive no paid services. The majority of LTC is provided by unpaid, informal caregivers, such as family members and friends.