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As Kansas City’s “baby boomer” population ages, they may be beginning to contemplate who will take care of them during their elder years when they are no longer capable of living on their own. Some individuals, approximately 13 percent, have purchased long-term care insurance to pay for nursing home care and other care not covered by government programs like Medicare or other resources. Nursing home care or home health care can cost tens of thousands of dollars annually, which may not be covered by Medicare. This may make long-term care insurance attractive to some.

Of course, the younger people are when they purchase a long-term care policy and the better the state of their health is, the less they will pay for the policy compared to older individuals or those of poorer health. However, the younger an individual is when he or she purchases long-term care insurance, the longer he or she will be paying premiums. In addition, many long-term care policies do not take effect until the policyholder has been disabled permanently for approximately three months, and coverage may be limited to either a particular dollar amount or a particular amount of time. In addition, these days, fewer people are purchasing long-term care insurance, due to an increase in exclusions and costs.

For these reasons, some individuals are exploring new kinds of ‘hybrid’ insurance policies. For example, one new type of policy combines life insurance with long-term care insurance. Individuals have the option to pay for such policies either all at once or over a period of months. If the individual never ends up needing to use the policy, that individual’s beneficiaries will get a payout when the individual passes away.

Long-term care insurance may work well for some, but it is not for everyone. Hybrid policies might be another option to consider, as may be annuities, selling a life insurance policy or taking out a reverse mortgage to pay health care costs. In the end, it is important to evaluate your specific situation and needs before deciding to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. For some it is the right fit, but it doesn’t hurt to look at all of one’s options before deciding.

Source:, “9 Factors to Consider Before Buying Long-Term Care Insurance,” Teresa Mears, Sept. 1, 2015