In the great divide between the poor and the wealthy, the middle class seems to get lost in the fold. Too poor to insure themselves and too rich to rely on government assistance, long-term care insurance is the farthest thing from their minds. It shouldn’t be. America’s middle class makes up the majority of the population, and that means a lot of people working and living their lives without a safety net. However, proper long term care is obtainable.
Whether it’s a nursing home or in-home care, the bills will pile up. We’re not counting pennies here, either, we’re counting in the thousands and sometimes, even higher depending on location. In the east coast, for instance, a stay in a geriatric facility for only a year could cost a loved one over $100,000. That’s a house, or a car, or your son’s college tuition. People that don’t have long-term care insurance could end up footing that entire bill out of pocket or worse, digging themselves into ditches of debt.
What’s Long-term Care Insurance?
When you’re in the middle class, you know about the importance of securing your funds. Long-term care insurance is your family’s back-up plan. It’s the safety net that catches you when life unexpectedly hurls you over the edge. While a substantial retirement bundle, Social Security, and a small pension might have been able to support you and your spouse after retirement, it doesn’t include the unexpected. In the event that a situation happens beyond your control, one that may require you to reside in one of the nursing homes mentioned above, long term care insurance could aid you and your family by relieving some of the financial burden. That means that some, or in some cases, all of that $100,000 a year doesn’t have to come out of your money.
Long-term Care Insurance Can Help
Here are a few ways LTC insurance can make life easier:
- Maintaining an Inheritance
- Providing Care and Protection
- Helping You Feel Safe
Although many middle class citizens may feel that they have dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s when it comes to coverage, without long-term care insurance, they can never be too sure. If the heads of a family have a will in place to leave their children money after they have departed, those funds are not necessarily safe. For many families providing an inheritance to their children, grandchildren and others is a priority. Long-term care insurance can provide a source of funds to pay for needed care. The money paid by the policy represents funds that an individual will not have to pay out of pocket and in this case can potentially be preserved to pass on to their heirs as desired.
Understanding How to Use LTC
Premiums are unfixed prices set monthly, quarterly, or annually for clients. Because they are not set in stone, premiums could fluctuate depending on policy. Premiums provide the same amount of insurance for the policyholder as long as they make their payments, meaning it neither expands nor contracts. Companies may try to target policyholders with certain inflation rides and elimination periods to increase their prices or entice you to change your plan.
- Inflation Riders
Like it’s name, this concept allows the policyholders to factor in the inflation or deflation of the economy when providing long term care insurance. While this is a great idea, it will cost you extra. This form of coverage allows one’s insurance to better provide care in the event that the cost of health care increases.
There is a way that middle class Americans can offset inflation. It’ll help to buy more coverage every few years. The long-term insurance can add up, and in the event that inflation has risen the price of health care facilities, you’ll still be covered.
- Elimination Periods
Long-term care insurance is available for a set amount of years, so whether it’s forever or five years, coverage is obtainable for middle class Americans. The cost is, however, affected by the amount of days prior to when the insurance actually begins. So, basically, the time period before the benefits kick in. Longer elimination periods have cheaper premiums because you will have to pay into them longer.
Getting the Help You Need
As a middle class citizen, you have enough to worry about. Consider seeking with a financial advisor. They can help you decide if LTC insurance is the right decision. Also, advisors can outline specific policies and explain the various types of coverage to guide you through the policy complexities. They have the know-how to put your financial position into perspective when considering the different plans, and also can serve as a connection to bring you to an insurance agent or to the right company that will best suit your needs.