IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE
The knowledge and experience of a LTC insurance specialist
can be a valuable asset. He or she is specially trained
to will work with you to find the best coverage to fit your
unique situation. Your LTC agent will also help you file
a claim when you need to use your benefits.
SELECTING AN AGENT
LTC insurance is a complex product that is constantly changing.
So it is important that you work with a certified LTC specialist.
Agents who have a Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP) designation
have completed coursework and passed a tough exam on all
aspects of LTC and private insurance.
To locate a LTCP insurance specialist in your area, click
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Applying for LTC insurance takes time and attention. You
need to set aside several hours to meet with an agent and
to review any materials you receive. If you are married,
both you and your spouse should attend the meeting. Some
people like to have an adult child with them to lend a hand.
LTC specialists know a lot about services in your area and
paying for care. So ask a lot of questions at each step
to understand your options.
Step 1: Assess Suitability
The first thing a LTC specialist will do will be to ask
questions to find out what’s important to you (and
your spouse), and to determine whether LTC insurance is
a good fit. The agent may:
- Review your retirement goals and expectations for long-term
care. Bringing your checklist of long-term care goals.
- Discuss your current health status to check for conditions
that would make you ineligible for private coverage.
- Describe the types and cost of LTC services in your
area, or where you plan to retire.
- Ask about your family situation and available resources
to see how LTC insurance can reduce risks to you and your
Step 2: Select a Policy
Individual LTC policies can be customized to meet your specific
needs and goals. A LTC agent can find the best policies
and company for you. He or she will work with you to evaluate
your options and help you take advantage of any discounts.
These will include:
- Amount of coverage (daily benefit), length of coverage
(one year to lifetime), waiting period, and need for inflation
- Type of coverage (comprehensive, nursing home only,
or home care only).
- Payment of benefits (reimbursement for expenses or cash).
- Eligibility criteria (ADLs and cognitive impairment)
for different types of care.
Step 3: Fill Out the Application
When you have selected a LTC policy, the agent fill out
the application with you. You will need to write a check
to pay the first premium.
Step 4: Underwriting
The insurance company will check your health status (termed
“underwriting”) before they decide to issue
you a policy. If you are over age 70 or have health problems,
the company will assess your health situation very thoroughly.
Underwriting may include:
- Review of your medical records.
- Telephone call with questions to determine if you already
have a cognitive impairment.
- Visit from an insurance representative to check any
ongoing problems with your physical or mental status.
Step 5: Delivery of policy.
It will take several weeks for the insurance company to
review your application. Once you pass the underwriting
and are approved for coverage, your LTC agent will either
deliver or mail the policy to you.
- Make sure you read the outline of coverage so you understand
the terms of your insurance policy.
- You have 30 days to review your policy. If within 30
days you decide that LTC insurance is not right for you,
you can return the policy to the insurance company for
a full refund of your premium.