When choosing a life product, make sure that life insurance needs are met long-term, especially if personal situations change — for example, marriage, birth of a child or job promotion. Weigh the costs of the policy, and understand that life insurance, and long-term care coverage linked to life insurance through riders, has fees and charges that vary with sex, health, age and tobacco use. Riders that customize a policy to fit individual needs typically carry an additional charge. The payment of long-term care rider benefits, as an acceleration of the death benefit, will reduce both the death benefit and cash surrender values of the life policy. Additionally, policy loans and withdrawals will also reduce both the cash value and the death benefit. Care should be taken to make sure that life insurance needs continue to be met even if the rider pays out in full, or after money is taken from the life policy. There is no guarantee that a rider will cover the entire cost for all of the insured’s long-term care, as this may vary with the needs of each insured.
There are multiple ways to insure for long-term care needs. Options vary and some are less expensive than others, but may offer fewer guarantees. A financial professional can work with you to determine what coverage is right for you and how much coverage you should purchase. Health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care expenses. Medicare will cover some long-term care costs, but only up to 100 days (after a 3-consecutive-day stay in a hospital under treatment). Medicaid will cover long-term care expenses for individuals with assets of $2,000 or less (varies by state) and covered care may be limited to a nursing home. Paying for long-term care costs out of pocket may not be practical or cost-efficient for many people.
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