Do I Need Long Term Care Insurance?

Author: Maine Veterans' Homes
Posted: March 02, 2017
Category: Long Term Care

Is it a sound financial investment for you or your loved one, as a veteran, to purchase long-term care insurance? Learn more about long term care insurance in this blog post.

Note: This blog was originally published March 2, 2017. It has been updated August 17, 2019.

Choosing to purchase long term care insurance isn’t an easy “yes” or “no” question. Just like any other big decision in life, you should conduct thorough research and take into consideration your specific situation.

Two Factors to Consider

Before purchasing long-term care insurance,  AARP advises taking into account these two major factors:

  1. Family status. Evaluate the financial risk to family members who could incur out-of-pocket expenses for long term care. Could the cost impoverish your spouse or dependent? If you're single, you don't face this risk, and you may have less need for long term care insurance.
  2. Financial stability. Most experts say the ideal candidates for long term care insurance are those who can comfortably afford the premiums and premium increases. If the premiums consume more than 10 percent of your retirement income, you probably can’t afford the coverage, AARP advises.

When Should I Buy Long Term Care Insurance?

In most cases, earlier is better when purchasing long term care insurance.

Annual premiums will increase significantly if you wait until after 60 to take out a policy. Experts recommend purchasing coverage in your 50s, if possible. After age 70, premiums can typically become too expensive.

How Can I Pay for Long Term Care?

Long term care services and support have advanced immensely in recent years, giving seniors today more options and opportunities than ever before. This also means there is a wide range of costs and ways to pay for the costs of nursing home care.

Along with long term care insurance, expenses are often covered by personal income and savings, annuities, and reverse mortgages. Some seniors may qualify for public programs. And veterans may qualify for veteran long-term care benefits.

As our population ages, many expect to see more long-term care financial products come onto the market to help ensure all seniors get the care they need.

It's always best to be proactive when it comes to future care for yourself or a loved one. Now that the conversation is started, combine financial planning with planning for where and how you would want care in the future. Suggest touring locations together and visit various options, such as assisted living, skilled nursing and/or long term care.

The more time you have, the more opportunity you have to fully compare nursing homes to find the right fit for your comfort, lifestyle and affordability.

Long Term Care Veteran Benefits

Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces may qualify for long term care or nursing home care veteran benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are certain eligibility criteria involving service, level of care or assistance needed, income, insurance, and other factors.

Long Term Care for Veterans

At Maine Veterans’ Homes, we are more than an assisted living, skilled nursing or long term care center. We are veterans’ advocates, committed 24/7 to Maine’s veterans and their families.

To learn more about our six locations throughout Maine and the services you'll find there, download a free brochure. You'll also get a bonus  checklist with 20 questions to ask a senior living community you're considering.

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