Choosing A Long Term Care Insurance Company What You Need To Consider

Once you’ve decided to purchase long-term health insurance, the next step is to critically evaluate several insurance companies. While you may be tempted to simply choose the least-expensive option, you need to understand what you’ll get for your money. Choose the option that’s best for you by evaluating each company’s customer service, benefits and credibility.

Evaluate Customer Service

When you purchase a policy, some companies allow you to select a dedicated agent. This agent takes on a limited caseload, and will be your main contact if you have any questions or concerns about your LTC insurance.

This type of customer service can be extremely helpful, so consider adding this option if you can afford it. You’ll be grateful for the dedicated care as you develop questions and concerns about your LTC insurance policy.

Consider Benefits

Most long-term care insurance companies offer several different levels of benefits. You can choose a full coverage policy that will cover any type of long-term care for any amount of time, or a shorter duration policy that will cover a shorter period of care (for example, a short period of time in a nursing home).

If you’re in relatively good health and have a limited budget, a shorter-term policy might be a good option for you. Speak to your financial adviser, as well as your family members, before making decisions about your long-term care.

Evaluate the Financial Stability of the Company

Check with your insurance agent, your local library and your state’s regulating agencies to learn about the financial history of the companies you’re considering. You can also research most insurance companies online; the Internet makes it easy to read customer reviews and learn about the financial history of a company.

Assess the Flexibility of Policies

Long-term care needs vary from one individual to another. Some patients need full nursing home care, while others only need occasional home health care. When evaluating long-term health insurance, inquire about the flexibility of each company’s policies. You don’t want to spend more money than you need to, but you also want to be sure that your basic health care needs are met as you age.

Check into the various riders and options available as policy add-ons, as well. You may be able to purchase additions to your policy that account for inflation, allow you to get a refund on unused premiums, or allow you to stop paying premiums after a certain period of time if you’ve been admitted to a full time skilled nursing facility.

These add-ons vary from one company to another, so be sure to ask about these options when you’re interviewing various agents.

Resources

Elder Law Answers. (2008). Long-term care insurance.Retrieved November 5, 2010, from http://www.elderlawanswers.com/Elder_Info/Elder_Article.asp?id=2595

Guide to Retirement Living. (n.d.). How to choose long-term care insurance.Retrieved November 5, 2010, from http://www.retirement-living.com/article/1/how-to-choose-long-term-care-insurance-ltc