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Long-term Care

Long-term care insurance (LTC) is a policy that covers the costs and services of long-term care. The recipients are usually senior citizens, but others include the physically disabled, the mentally disabled and mentally challenged individuals of all ages. They receive the money directly or live in homes that are funded by the insurance company.

The Coverage of Long-Term Care

There are different types of long-term care. There is nursing home care where nurses work round the clock. There is at-home care where nurses or home health aides work within a private home. Some care is needed 24 hours a day, while other care is offered a few times a month, depending on the patient’s needs.

Long-term insurance gives some level of independence to people who are trying to become independent. Many are allowed to stay at home and choose when they want to be visited by a healthcare professional. If they need serious medical attention, they have the option to stay at home. They may prefer to be with their families and not among strangers in a hospital or nursing home.

The Process of Getting Covered

Long Term Care insurance is provided as a separate policy or included in an employer-provided health insurance plan. Policyholders can buy additional coverage for spouses, children or relatives. Most have to work fulltime or a certain number of hours to qualify.

Under an LTC plan, there are limits to the daily amounts spent on benefits. Some plans have limits for people with preexisting conditions. In general, an LTC policy is also not health insurance, so it covers mostly living expenses and not doctor’s visits, inpatient stays or medical treatments.

The Different Types of Coverage

The two main types of LTC policies are traditional or a combination. Traditional coverage requires the policyholder to pay monthly premiums. Combination coverage includes the benefits of life insurance with long-term care insurance. Another combination plan includes the use of disability insurance. LTC policyholders can start paying premiums after the age of 65.