Ask yourself these questions about each policy you´re considering:
What types of care are covered and where? Policies can offer a lot of services, including home health care, adult day care, assisted living facility care, and nursing home care. Policies are required to cover all levels of care from custodial to intermediate to skilled care.
What are the benefit eligibility requirements? Policies won´t pay until you´ve met certain requirements, such as being unable to perform tasks — called activities of daily living — or being certified as cognitively impaired. The benefit eligibility criteria may vary from policy to policy.
How much is the daily benefit amount for each type of benefit? Most policies will pay a maximum daily amount for your care. You choose the maximum daily benefit when you buy the policy. It´s important that you choose your benefit amount wisely. Keep in mind that you don’t need to insure the full cost of care. To keep premiums down, you could plan to pay some of the cost yourself.
How long are benefits paid? The chances of needing long-term care for more than five years are relatively small. For most people, a policy covering three to five years is appropriate and more cost-effective. However, if you´re concerned about contracting a disease requiring more care, such as Alzheimer´s, you may want to consider the more expensive option of lifetime coverage.
Does the policy have a preexisting condition waiting period? If so, how long is it? Some policies won´t cover a preexisting medical condition until after a certain period of time. Some policies will pay for care related to a preexisting condition immediately if you disclosed the condition on your application. Make sure you know what the policy says about preexisting conditions.
What inflation protection is offered? Inflation protection helps you keep up with the higher cost of services between the time you bought your policy and the time you actually need them. All companies must offer an automatic increase in benefits at the rate of 5 percent compounded annually. If you reject inflation protection, the rejection must be in writing. The company may also have other options for inflation protection. Remember that to be prepared for inflation, you must pay a higher premium today or higher out-of-pocket costs later.
What is the nonforfeiture benefit? Companies must offer you a guarantee that you will receive some of the benefits you paid for even if you later cancel or lose coverage. If you reject the nonforfeiture benefit, the rejection must be in writing. If you cancel or lapse your policy after a specified number of years, the insurance company will either return a percentage of the premiums you paid; extend benefits for a period of time equal to the premiums paid, less any claims; or provide a greatly reduced benefit.
Is the policy tax-qualified? If you buy a tax-qualified policy, you may be able to deduct part of the premiums you paid as a medical expense on your income taxes. Benefits paid from a tax-qualified policy are generally not considered taxable income. The policy must disclose if it is intended to be tax-qualified or nontax-qualified.
Can I upgrade the policy later by purchasing more benefits? Some companies allow you to upgrade your policy after you buy. However, you will likely have to complete a new medical questionnaire.
Also consider the following tips when shopping for any type of insurance:
Consider your needs. Although it´s difficult, try to anticipate what services you might need in the future and choose a policy that´s right for you.
Shop around. Prices can vary substantially from one company to another, even for policies with similar benefits. Get quotes from several companies before buying a policy.
Look at factors other than price. Buy only from licensed insurance companies and agents. Also, make sure the companies you’re considering are financially stable and have good customer service. Your family and friends are other sources of information about a company´s customer service. Ask them if they´ve had any experience with the companies you´re considering.
For more information about home health care, Call Jamhuri Healthcare services: 1-800-547-2851 And Visit us on the web: www.jamhuricares.com