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Is long-term care insurance a good option?

Everyone must eventually consider options for covering the costs of quality medical and long-term care. Long-term planning should include the consideration of insurance to cover these expenses in addition to Medicare. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages associated with long-term care insurance is also an important part of this planning.

Insurance may help protect a person's assets. In some circumstances, it conserves inheritances for family members and other beneficiaries. Insurance also provides more options for choosing long-term nursing home care in preferred facilities. It may allow a person to receive care in other settings, such as home health care, residing at an assisted living facility and attending adult day care. Polices can cover more services beyond nursing care.

Insurance also avoids burdening a family. Insureds may avoid the stress of depending on other family members. Insurance is also considered a qualified medical expense for federal taxes. It may eliminate Medicaid premiums.

Purchasing insurance may also have disadvantages. Premiums and copayments can become too expensive, especially when people become older. Anyone who does not have a lot of assets may also qualify for Medicaid, regardless of whether they hold long-term care insurance. It may be preferable for individuals with more property and savings, however, to pay for theses expenses from their own assets instead of paying insurance premiums. Other financing options, such as reverse mortgages, also have advantages.

An attorney can help families with long-term care and estate planning. Preparation of legal documents and consideration of legal and financial options may increase the availability of affordable and proper care.

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