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3 tips for shopping long-term care insurance

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Buying any type of insurance these days can be a major endeavor. Simply finding an insurance plan that is affordable and meets all your needs seems like an impossible task - though we know those plans do exist. When consumers are faced with a daunting amount of information, technical jargon and numerous products to compare, they often put off the task. And that means they don't have coverage when they might need it.

All of that is true for long-term care insurance, so we thought we'd provide these three tips to start your shopping off right. First, know what you can afford. It's likely you'll pay a monthly premium for this insurance. Before you begin to consider plans, decide what your budget will be. That lets you knock out inappropriate plans, reducing the amount of reading and comparing you have to do.

Next, don't look only at the plan. Start with the companies that offer the plans. Look for an insurance company with staying power and a good reputation. Knocking out the new kids or questionable players means you don't study up on policies you probably don't want anyway.

Finally, understand the terminology you'll encounter when reviewing policy options. Consider speaking to a professional about your options and don't be afraid to ask questions. If anyone uses words you don't know, ask what those words mean. A little research now goes a long way in ensuring you are happy with your plan later.

Once you get a plan, hold your provider to it. If you pay for long-term care insurance or disability insurance and your provider won't pay up when a claim is filed, then speak with a claims lawyer who can help you understand what your next options are.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "9 Factors to Consider Before Buying Long-Term Care Insurance," accessed Aug. 12, 2016

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