Long-term Care Insurance: 10 Must-Ask Questions

Should you be paying for long-term care insurance? If yes, what’s the best policy for you? We often help clients answer these questions, which are especially relevant in 2021 in Washington State, as the state is about to launch a new payroll tax on workers of all ages without long-term care insurance.  Comparing long-term policies head-on requires cutting through the hype and confusing/misleading information, and asking very targeted questions. Following is a checklist excerpted from our guide to buying long-term care insurance.

Get These Answered When Comparing Policies

#1. Will all the services I’m likely to ever need be covered?
***Does the policy cover all the different types of care: skilled nursing; custodial care; and home health care?

#2. Is the policy renewable, regardless of my age or physical/mental condition?

#3. When do I qualify for benefits — what events will trigger the payouts?
***Does the policy limit benefits because of any pre-existing conditions?

#4. When do payouts actually begin after the qualifying event?
***Is there a waiting or elimination period?

#5. How much will the policy pay out?
***What is the minimum and maximum daily benefit amount I can purchase?

#5. For how many years will the policy pay benefits?

#6. Will my benefits increase annually, along with the rate of inflation?
***If yes, by how much?
***If not, what is the cost of an inflation rider?

#8. Does this policy qualify for tax benefits (is it tax-qualified)? If yes, the payouts will not be taxed.

#9. Can I upgrade this policy if the insurance company offers a policy that’s a better option for me?

#10. What health conditions am I not covered for?