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How Much Long-Term Care Insurance Is Enough?

Published September 1, 2010

Long-term care insurance provides coverage for care administered outside a hospital setting. Good policies provide payment for custodial care services, such as preparing meals, doing laundry, and shopping. While Medicaid requires that custodial care be provided in a nursing home, long-term care insurance generally covers custodial care in the insured’s home, an assisted living facility, a family member’s home, or a nursing home.

Long-term care insurance plans usually pay a daily benefit for a pre-determined period of time. When determining how much long-term care insurance to purchase, consider what daily benefit will be necessary to cover one’s care costs and how long the policy will need to pay the benefits. Policies generally cover a minimum period of two years. Longer periods of coverage and plans that cover the policyholder’s full lifetime are also available. Five-year plans are popular, since they can be used to cover costs during the five-year Medicaid look-back period for transfers of assets.

Long-term care insurance policies that pay a high daily benefit or cover an extended period of time can be costly. An estate planning professional can help you tailor a plan to fit your long term care needs and budget.

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