Why You Should Consider Long-term Care Insurance

As you get older, you can expect certain expenses to increase — health care being one of those. Fortunately, you can counter those rising costs, and protect your family's financial well-being, with long-term care insurance.

This insurance typically covers services and support for everyday personal care needs, such as eating, dressing, and bathing, and can include assistance with housework and grocery shopping. Some policies even cover services provided by assisted living centers, nursing homes, and home-based professional care.

Find out if long-term care insurance is right for you by first getting to the bottom of a few common misconceptions.

Myth: Medicare Will Cover All Future Healthcare Expenses

Don't assume that Medicare will handle all of your long-term care needs. In fact, Medicare only covers 100 days of long-term skilled care. "After that, you're opening up your checkbook" says Gena J. Wolbrecht, Senior Vice President, Platform Investments Executive, Regions Investment Services.

Myth: You Don't Need Long-term Care Insurance Yet

The best time to buy a long-term care policy usually isn't when you need it; it's before you need it. It's generally more difficult and expensive to get long-term care coverage once health issues begin, so the ideal time to start planning and secure a policy is between the ages of 45 and 60, Wolbrecht says. "In that age group, your children are probably in college, you're established in your career, and you're probably not in immediate need of long-term care. That's when that long-term care planning should come into play" she says. "Don't wait to start your long-term care planning until your health changes, and it becomes a situation."

Myth: You Probably Won't Ever Need Long-term Care

That may be true if you find yourself among the 30 percent of people who never require long-term care. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care Information reports that approximately 70 percent of people over age 65 will require long-term care at some point in their lives.

Myth: Long-term Care Insurance Is All You Need to Plan for

Wolbrecht stresses that getting a long-term care insurance policy isn't enough on its own. Instead, it should be part of broader long-term care planning, which involves thinking through where you will retire, what your budget will be, and what you hope to leave for your family. Also, consider how much to save for retirement by using the Regions retirement calculator.

Is Long-term Care Insurance Right for You?

The biggest benefit of having a long-term care plan — and if it's right for you, a long-term care insurance policy — is peace of mind. "It's the same idea as homeowner's insurance. Hopefully, you never have a fire or loss of property, but you plan for it" Wolbrecht says. "With long-term care insurance, it's about having an additional resource."

For more tips on whether or not this insurance is right for you, consider these factors to think about when choosing long-term care to help make your decision.


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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.