Tips for Leveraging Your Long-Term Care Insurance


Life has a lot of ups and downs. We all navigate them the best we can, and we hope to be able to retire comfortably. You will probably accumulate several types of insurance policies as you go, and making the most of them can be the difference between good retirement living and a stressful situation. The key is understanding how those policies work. Many people have policies gathering dust because they aren’t utilizing them correctly. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including simple ignorance as to the way the policies work. Life tends to be busy and chaotic, which doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time for carefully considering a plethora of insurance policies. Add to this the fact that most people don’t find insurance to be an engaging topic, and it makes for a lot of under-utilized policies.

At Heritage Assisted Living, we understand the stress and uncertainty that accompanies trying to figure out your retirement living situation. It is a massive life change, and accessing great assisted living isn’t cheap. That is why we work so hard to help anyone who comes our way to leverage every asset they have to be able to live to the fullest. One of the resources we often see neglected is long-term care insurance, so we’re going to take some time in today’s blog to discuss long-term care insurance and how to make the most of it.

Tips for Successfully Leveraging Your Long-Term Care Insurance

Many times, the biggest battle when it comes to insurance is simply understanding it. Read on for some helpful insights and tips!

What is Long-Term Insurance? 

Long-term insurance is basically a special flavor of health insurance. Where basic health insurance covers large, short-term care expenses, long-term insurance is with you for the long haul. It is designed to handle supports and services like custodial and personal care in your home, community organization, or another facility. It reimburses you in a daily amount that you can use to pay for assistance with daily life, whatever that looks like for you. You generally are able to select care benefits and options that empower you to access the assistance you need, where you need it.

How Is the Cost of Long-Term Care Determined?

The amount you pay for long-term care is based on several different aspects:

  • The maximum amount the policy pays each day
  • Your age when you purchase the policy
  • The upper limit of years the policy will pay
  • The total maximum the plan will ever pay (this is determined by multiplying the max per day payment by the lifespan of the policy)
  • Optional benefits you choose (example: benefits that increase to accommodate inflation)

It is important to note that individual policies require medical underwriting, which means that if you are already using long-term care services or are in bad health, you may not qualify for long-term care insurance. You may be able to buy limited coverage or find a policy that doesn’t require medical underwriting.

Questions to Ask Your Policy Provider

We just went through the basics of long-term care insurance, but we want to give you some questions that you should get answered if you don’t know the answers yet.

  • In order to claim my benefits, how many activities of daily living (ADLs) do I need help with?
  • What is the lifetime maximum benefit I can receive?
  • What kinds of care does my policy cover? (assisted living, home health, skilled nursing)
  • How many years will I receive my benefits?
  • How long do I have to pay full rate for my benefits to kick in? (called the “elimination period”)

Choose Heritage Assisted Living

When you need help with the basics of daily living, it can be difficult to figure out how to handle your situation. The key is understanding the resources at your disposal and how you can use them to access the care you need. It can take time and patience to clarify just what your options are, but if you live in New Jersey, you have a home in The Heritage. We offer world-class assisted living in a thriving community, and we look forward to being able to welcome you. Contact us today to learn more!