5 Considerations in Deciding Whether to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

Daniel Penzing
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The Factors in Buying Long-Term Care Insurance

Your Net Worth

If you are extremely wealthy, you may not have much to lose if you can't pay your personal medical expenses. For most people, though, they have already heaped up a great deal of debt on homes and cars. The sudden onset of illness could burn through the money they have budgeted for their children's education. This would prevent them from paying for college or help them later on. Long-term care insurance could help your family as well. If the insurance does not pay for your medical care or helps to defray expenses, it may help to keep your health crisis from becoming a financial crisis as well. The amount of assets that you have and your net worth will be one of the first factors that you will take a look at.

Spouse's Financial Security

To gauge the financial consequences of end-of-life medical expenses, it's most helpful to look at your family's income and expenses as a percentage of your overall annual income.

While you may be able to buy some coverage in the form of a rider on your life insurance to cover the expenses you might face, you generally can't rely on just your own life insurance policy to provide for your family if the worst should happen to you.

Medicare is gradually being phased in to cover some expenses, but there are still many uncovered expenses, such as nursing homes, skilled-nursing care, rehabilitation services, and prescription drugs.

Can you face the prospect of leaving your spouse without health care coverage to pay for the costs of long-term care? Or, in the future, would you consider selling their assets, or some of your own, to pay for your long-term care?

How would your spouse manage financially without your income to rely on? If your spouse work