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Understanding Your Long Term Care Insurance Policy and How to Maximize Benefits

If you or a loved one need long-term care due to advanced age, stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease or other reasons, you may be wondering if it is time to begin using your long-term care insurance policy. Standard health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid generally do not cover the costs associated with long-term care. This is because long-term care is different from medical care, in that it is often focused on assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing and hygiene, using the bathroom, mobility and general day-to-day care, and this is where your long-term care policy comes into play. 

Unfortunately, too many people are neglecting their long term care insurance (LTCi) policies because they do not understand them or are worried about the upfront costs of utilizing their policy. There are approximately eight million active policies, and roughly four million of those policy holders are eligible for some type of long-term care. However, it is estimated that approximately 70% of those policies will end, not because the policy ran out of money, but because the policy owner passed away without even making a claim. It is important to learn how to maximize your policy's benefits so it does not go to waste. 

Elimination Period 

Your long term care insurance policy most likely has an elimination period. This is a waiting period that is similar to a deductible with traditional health insurance policies. Typically, an elimination period is 30 days, and you will pay for services "out of pocket" during this time, but an elimination period should not deter you from using your long-term care insurance now. There are two major issues with waiting to use your policy.

  1. Elimination costs - Elimination costs will likely be less now. If you try to wait as long as possible before using your long-term care insurance, it is likely that you will need more hours and more advanced care than if you started receiving care now. 
  2. Your Premium - You will still be paying for your premium while you wait to activate your policy. If you open a claim with your insurance policy and get through the elimination period, it can halt payment of the premium at the same time as you are being reimbursed for your care. 

It can be more beneficial for you to start using your policy now than to wait, so do not let the elimination period scare you. 

Get Help Understanding Your Long Term Care Insurance

If you want to get the most out of your long term care insurance policy and maximize your benefits, it is important to understand it. Insurance policies can be complicated and confusing, and long-term care insurance is no different. If you have been hesitant to use your policy because you don't understand the intricacies of it, you may be inadvertently letting it go to waste.

At Senior Helpers of Chicago, we are prepared to help you understand your policy. Owner Jonathan Wishnick has worked with long-term care insurance clients and long-term care insurance companies daily for the last 11 years. He understands these policies and can help you understand yours. If you would like a free consultation regarding your long term care insurance policy, you are encouraged to call Jonathan Wishnick at 312-867-7110. He does not sell policies, he just helps you understand how to use yours to its fullest benefit. 

In addition to long term care insurance assistance, Senior Helpers of Chicago provides tailored in-home senior care, including Alzheimer's & Dementia Care, Parkinson's Care, Companionship Care, Respite Care, Surgery Assistance, and more. If you are ready to use your long-term care insurance policy and have questions, do not hesitate to reach out today for your free consultation.

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