Most people don't own life insurance to safeguard themselves. Instead they purchase the policies for their survivors. They want to make sure that in case they die, their beneficiary's standard of living will not decline. Long-term care coverage is much the same way. You really aren't buying it for yourself, you are actually protecting your spouse, or anyone else close to you on which you would be a burden. Or, it benefits those heirs to whom you desire to leave your estate and not consume it with long term care bills.
If you require nursing home attention, you are responsible for the costs, and after you have spent your assets, the government might pick up the tab. But what would it be like to have to spend most of your money in order to qualify for Medicaid? Once the meter starts ticking at maybe $300 per day, the emotional drain can be overwhelming as you exhaust your assets.
Getting the government to pay for your long term care is not easy and we do not advise this option. Medicaid qualification requirements vary among the states, but the majority allows both nursing home and waiver beneficiaries to retain only $2,000 in financial assets. Personal residences, as well as a limited number of other possessions such as annuities, might be exempt. Nonetheless, your spouse could have to sell those items just to pay his or her bills. He or she may be left with a feeling of helplessness, worry about facing poverty, and loss of control over the future.
Even though Medicaid is the primary source of public financing for long-term care services in the U.S., you should only think of it as a means of last resort. Long-term care insurance may be a better alternative because it can potentially eliminate your spouse's need to dip into savings to pay bills at home if you require expensive, special treatment.
Get a quote from your insurance agent. You cannot buy long term care insurance online because of its complexity.
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