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Long Term Care Health InsuranceYou won't want to rely on the Government

Many Americans do not fully understand the need to protect themselves against "long term care" expenses. That, simply put, is the possibility of someday needing care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or even in your own home. Consequently, while long term care insurance costs far less than you may expect, it is one of the most under purchsed products of the entire health insurance industry.

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Long Term Health Care Insurance Costs? Find out.

People today think of health insurance as something that pays at least part of the costs for everything from an annual physical to the most costly surgery. Insurance, by definition, was never intended to pay the costs of care that you choose to getsuch as physicals, preventive tests, vaccinations, eye glasses, and so forth. Insurance is a product that is supposed to pay if an unlikely eventsuch as a major illness or accidenttakes place. Simply by being human, we have a "risk" of these events, but if we live a healthy lifestyle and don't take foolish chances, our risk is slim. Thus the ideal insurance company collects a small premium from everyone and when the unthinkable occurs to a few people, the money is used to pay the bill.

Of course, insurance doesn't work exactly like that anymore, which is why health insurance is often referred to as "health care." Many people aren't buying true insurance, such as hospital indemnity plans, catastrophic illness plans, or cancer plans. Such plans are true insurance as they will help pay if one of the specified events occurs, but are not available to you if you already have such a condition or have a high risk for getting one. As expected, the prices on such plans is quite low because the risk is truly spread across a large number of purchasers.

Instead, people want the best health care at the lowest possible price from a company that accepts all pre-existing conditions and that doesn't restrict providers. People expect to need health care for the yearly viruses, for maintaining various conditions like high blood pressure or cholesterol, and for getting various screening exams and physicals. But that's not insurance. It's paying a premium for someone else to help pay the bills for events that are almost guaranteed to take place. And the idea of paying for something that a person doesn't really expect to happensuch as eventual care in a nursing homeis simply shrugged off as unnecessary by far too many people.

Another misconception people have about LTCi is in believing that Medicare or Medicaidthat is, the governmentwill pay the bill if a person ever needs that type of care. First, Medicare only pays for the first 100 days of skilled carenothing for custodial or intermediate care which is what the majority of the residents need. Also, a person has to meet the conditions to be eligible for Medicare either by virtue of age or as a result of disability. Second, while Medicaid is paying the bill for most of the people in nursing homes today, relying on Medicaid means you plan to spend all your own assets first and, in some states, even give up your home to the state government. Furthermore, not all facilities accept Medicaid.

Finally, people often neglect to purchase Long Term Care insurance because they mistakenly assume that extended care only happens when a person gets old. They think they can wait until they are a little older, a little closer to the possibility of needing care. Such thinking is a mistake. First 25% of the people who need extended care are under the age of 50often in their twenties and thirties. They may be victims of accidents or tragic illnesses that leave them debilitated for life. Then, if a person waits until they think they may need it, health issues may keep them from qualifying, thus ensuring that the burden of their care will be put on their family.

LTCi is true insurance, unlike today's health care plans. It is a purchasevery reasonably priced, especially for those who buy youngof a product designed to pay the cost for care that you hope you will never need. It's worth noting that if you were to walk through a nursing home and ask people if they planned on being there, you would hardly find a soul who intended to become a nursing home resident. And that's not even the whole picture. 85% of people who purchase LTCi actually use it in their own homes and never have to go to a nursing home at all. You may never need it, but if you do, you will find out very quickly that it was better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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