Here are a few facts which may surprise you:
- Long-term care insurance is very flexible. Every long-term care policy gives you many choices for your benefits. You choose your: Daily Benefit, Inflation Benefit, Policy Limit, and Elimination Period. The richer the benefits you choose, the higher your premium. The more modest the benefits you choose, the lower your premium. You are in control of those choices.
- Shop around. You can save thousands of dollars over your lifetime by shopping and comparing prices from several of the top long-term care policies. Every long-term care policy has a unique way of calculating your premium based upon your age, your choice of benefits, and your health history. When comparing several of the leading policies, with nearly identical benefits, premiums will often vary by as much as 70%.
- Premium Payment Periods. You can choose one of four premium payment periods for your long-term care policy. You can choose: a stepped premium payment, a standard premium payment, a shortened premium payment, or a single premium payment. A “stepped premium payment” method can start off about 30% less than a “standard premium payment” method.
- Use pre-tax dollars. You can significantly decrease the “net cost” of your long-term care policy by using pre-tax dollars to help pay your long-term care insurance premiums. There are now 10 different ways owners of long-term care insurance can save on their federal and state income taxes. Depending upon your state and federal income tax bracket, this can decrease your “net cost” by 30% or more.
- Buy a Partnership-Qualified Policy. Now that 40 states have “Long-Term Care Partnership programs” you do not have to buy an expensive “unlimited” long-term care insurance policy. You only need to buy an amount of long-term care insurance equal to the amount of assets you want to protect for yourself, your spouse or partner, and/or your heirs. The Long-Term Care Partnership programs provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Each dollar that your Partnership-Qualified Policy pays out in benefits entitles you to keep an extra dollar of countable assets if you ever need to apply for Medicaid services.