Long-term care planning involves many aspects and one of the most important has to do with paying for care. Long-term care insurance can provide one option to meet the expenses of staying in an assisted living facility.
As recent information shows, the decision to buy this type of insurance has a high level of complexity.
A changing industry
Information from Kiplinger describes the long-term care insurance market as one that has seen many changes in recent years. The magazine characterizes the state of the market as one in which customers pay higher premiums for lower benefits than in the past. Many factors have contributed to this trend:
- Fewer insurance providers now offer plans
- Increased prices for stays in assisted-living facilities
- Difficulty finding appropriate staffing for homes
At one time, nearly 100 providers offered long-term care insurance, but now that number has dwindled to about a dozen providers. Insurance providers got out of the business because they were losing money. Now, to stay in business, providers have adjusted plans to reflect current economic conditions.
An evolving mix of options
To increase the affordability of long-term care insurance, customers may need to look at some of the options from insurance providers. For couples, this might mean looking into shared care plans. This allows for a higher level of flexibility in certain situations, though the cost or premiums remain high.
Other features of policies include shorter terms. Instead of buying coverage for a three-year stay in a facility, a customer would pay for a plan that only offers coverage for two years.
Customers should look at all of their options when looking into long-term care planning. An informed decision could save thousands of dollars.