Did you know that at least 70% of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives? And of those who have long-term care needs, 41% are under age 65. According to a 2005 MetLife study of employee benefit trends, long-term care insurance is the single-most requested benefit that employers are not offering with 49% of employees saying they are "extremely concerned" about long term care. Long-term care insurance was developed specifically to cover the costs of long-term care services, most which are not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. These include in-home services like assistance with activities of daily living as well as care in a variety of facility and community settings.
There is a great deal of choice and flexibility in long-term care insurance policies. You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need in the settings that best suit you.
Long-term care insurance policies have a benefit period or lifetime benefit maximum, which is the total amount of time or total amount of dollars when benefits will be paid. Common benefit periods for long-term care policies are two, three, four and five years, and lifetime or unlimited coverage. Other options between five years and lifetime / unlimited coverage are also available from many companies, most policies translate these time periods into dollar amounts and do not actually limit the number of days they pay for care, just the dollar limit the policy pays.
Group rates are generally lower than individual rates and employer-paid coverage is treated as health insurance for tax purposes, even if benefits vary by employee class.
Coverage is generally guaranteed, even if 100% employee paid. Eligibility can even be extended to spouses, parents and adult children of employees, allowing them to take advantage of group rates and guarantee of coverage. Once enrolled, premiums do not increase with age and coverage can be continued at the same rate even after employment is terminated.
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