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Health care policies don’t always cover long-term care

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Did you know that your health care policy probably doesn't provide much in the way of long-term care coverage? Even Medicare, which is the coverage many people rely on for paying for medical needs in late life, only covers a small portion of the long-term care needs many people experience. This gap in late-life coverage is one reason many people turn to long-term care insurance.

Medicare and many private insurance providers limit the type and length of long-term care coverage they provide. For example, Medicare only pays for care in a nursing home if a patient qualifies for treatment in a skilled nursing facility, and even then, the coverage is limited to a certain number of days. Coverage is not provided for assisted living facilities or other programs that can make late-life more pleasant.

Other services that might not be covered or fully covered by Medicare or many private insurance plans includes home health aides, who can assist with activities of daily living, adult daycare programs, and customized medical equipment. All of these items and services might be covered under a long-term care insurance plan, but to qualify for purchasing such a policy, you usually have to sign up at a younger age.

Is it worth it to pay premiums for years on the chance you might need additional care when you are older? Certainly this is a personal decision that depends on a variety of unique details. Long-term care insurance is something you might consider when you are planning for later life, and legal professionals who deal regularly with long-term care planning can provide guidance and education on various types of plans and options.

Source: Dummies.com, "The Ups and Downs of Long-Term Care Insurance," Carol Levine, accessed April 01, 2016

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