Long term care insurance is a type of insurance that covers all, most, or a lot of the costs of needing to go into a nursing home and/or receiving assisted care. Different long term care policies have different stipulations, and needless to say those with more coverage will cost more money in premiums.
Long term care insurance is often conceived of as a “pot of dollars” that a person can draw from if they ever come to meet the criteria under which their policy will pay. An LTI policy may provided ultimately unlimited funds, or be paid for up to a certain monetary amount of coverage.
Long term care insurance will pay for extended health care and assistance beyond the narrow definition of “specialized care” that Medicare/Medicaid will pay for.
People become eligible to buy LTI when they are at least 40 years old. However, it’s exceedingly difficult to find an insurer who will underwrite an LTI policy on someone who is older than 80, as people, even those who have managed to stay in good health to that age, are too much of a risk to need the services that the policy covers from that time forward. It’s estimated that 33% of all men and half of all women will need long term care to one extent or another given today’s life expectancies and assuming women continue to, on average, outlive men.