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.

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 to http://www.aaltci.org/agent_locate.html

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 family.

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 protection.
  • 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.