Long-term care insurance is an insurance product sold in the United States and Canada, that helps provide for the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period. Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Individuals who require long-term care are generally not sick in the traditional sense, but instead, are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, continence, transferring (getting in and out of a bed or chair), and walking.
Private long-term care (LTC) insurance is growing in popularity in the United States. Premiums, however, have risen dramatically in recent years even for existing policy holders. Coverage costs can be expensive, especially when consumers wait until retirement age to purchase LTC coverage.
Most policies have an elimination period or waiting period similar to a deductible. This is the period of time that you pay for care before your benefits are paid. Elimination days may be from 20 to 120 days. The higher deductible period the lower the premium. Some policies require intended claimants to provide proof of 20 to 120 service days of paid care before any benefits will be paid. In some cases the option may be available to select zero elimination days when covered services are provided in the home in accordance with a Plan of Care. Some policies require that the policy for long-term care be paid up to one year before becoming eligible to collect benefits.