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Choosing Long Term Health Insurance

Question: How do I chose the right insurance company when it comes to long term health care insurance?

Answer: Call your state's health insurance counseling program or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. They are a great source of information and they will send you literature on long term health insurance.

Ask friends and family if they have long term health insurance and if so, who their insurance carrier is and how they feel about the service their carrier provides.

Question: Do all employers offer their employees the opportunity to purchase long term health care insurance?

Answer: Some employers offer their employees the opportunity to purchase long time health care insurance through their regular benefits package. In this instance, the premiums will probably be much lower than if you decided to buy the insurance on your own.

Ask your human resources representative if long term care insurance is offered through your company's benefits package.

Question: Do all long term care policies offer the same benefits?

Answer: No. Not all companies are the same and they operate under either state standards or federal standards. There are variations to each policy and your agent should be able to answer any questions on any policy that he is representing.

Question: What are some of the different benefits?

Answer: Some policies offer only care in nursing home facilities, although the insurance company must offer buyer coverage for assisted living in a residential care facility or a facility for the elderly.

Other policies are for home care only, which will only pay for care given in your own home. With this policy, the insurance company is required to include benefits for home health care, adult health care, homemaker services, hospice care, and personal care.

There is also comprehensive care that provides long term care at your home or in a community facility, as well as in a nursing home. Insurance companies selling this type of policy must also offer benefits for assisted living for the elderly.

Question: What things should I consider before buying a long term health care policy?

Answer: First of all, can I afford the premium. If you are married and your spouse dies or one of you becomes unemployed, can the other spouse maintain the payments alone.

Other consideration is your age, health, and any pre-existing conditions.

The older you are, the higher the premiums are going to be and if you have existing health issues, you may have a harder time finding a company that will insure you, although some companies will accept you if you have a chronic condition.

Premium rate increases is also a cause for consideration. Your agent should tell you about any rate increases and you should ask if there will be future rate increases.

Before you buy long term health care insurance, as with all insurances, you should read and understand what the policy covers.


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