Who buys long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance is one of the fastest growing financial services products and has been so for more than a decade. As we are increasingly responsible for providing our own retirement income through savings and qualified retirement plans such as a 401[k], the need to protect this income has increased drastically.

More and more people realize that the biggest threat to a family’s retirement income is if the need for long-term care should arise. Consequently, long-term care insurance has become a vital part of families’ overall financial as well as retirement planning.

Who uses long-term care insurance?

Those who need care. But bear in mind, the need for care can arise at any age. Long-term care is not just for when “we get old.” A long-term care situation can come about as the result of an accident or it can be needed temporarily due to a long recovery period after a significant illness such as cancer. As a matter of fact, 40% of the long-term care facility population is between the ages of 18 and 64.



According to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3 in 4 Americans over age 65 will need some type of long-term care services.



What is long-term care?

Long-term care is defined as the type of care needed as the result of:

  • An inability to perform every day activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, transferring, and continence for a period of at least 90 days; or
  • A severe cognitive impairment requiring substantial supervision to protect your health and safety

In other words, long-term care is the type of care we need when we can no longer care for ourselves.

What is long-term care insurance?

This important coverage is a vital part of financial planning as it is designed to protect your retirement income and your family’s lifestyle. LTCi pays for the expenses associated with needing care for an extended period of time at home or even a stay in a long-term care facility.

What is the difference between Disability Insurance and Long-Term Care Insurance?

Disability insurance will replace income in the event that you become physically unable to work.  It is no longer valid once you leave the workforce.  Disability Insurance does not pay for the costs associated with needing care either in your home or a facility.



42% percent of respondents incorrectly believe that health insurance, Medicare, or disability insurance will cover the costs of long-term care.





Where can long-term care be received?

  • In your own home by a licensed home health care provider
  • In an adult day health center
  • In an assisted living facility
  • In a nursing home

Who decides where my care is provided?

You do! Almost everybody prefers to remain in their own home for as long as possible. Long-term care insurance companies acknowledge that and many features and benefits of your coverage are designed to make it easier for you to transition from a hospital to your home and to stay there longer than otherwise possible. These benefits and features may include:

  • Assistance with expenses for home modification such as the installation of a wheelchair ramp, widening of doors, and removal of door steps
  • Assistance with expenses for medical equipment and assistive devices
  • Assistance with expenses for medical alert systems and remote medical monitoring



  • 49% of new LTCi claims started in 2010 are for home care.
  • 27% of new LTCi claims are for nursing home care.




When should I buy long-term care insurance?

Theoretically, you should buy any insurance product as soon as you become concerned over the consequences of a loss. The premium will never get less expensive and you are not covered while you wait. Long-term care insurance is no different. Premiums are based upon the benefits selected, your age and to some degree your health. As none of us get younger, waiting will result in a higher premium.

This does not mean you should necessarily buy all the coverage you may eventually want and need right away. Some options allow you to increase your coverage and premium assuring affordability in all years.

"I am only 35, and more concerned about being in an accident or dying prematurely!"

You should never buy more coverage than you can comfortably afford or compromise other insurance needs. However, long-term care insurance commonly has built-in benefits specifically designed for the younger buyers:

  • Some policies even include built-in provisions where If you die before a certain age, the premiums paid for your policy will be refunded to your estate or a named beneficiary [less any claims paid].



Over 1 million women are in nursing homes; versus only 400,000 men.




Why should I buy long-term care insurance now?

  • It is a vital part of financial and retirement planning.
  • The need for care can arise at any age.
  • Long-term care can be provided in your home.
  • The sooner you buy it, the lower the premium.

Contact an Authorized Enroller for more information!


Approximately 12 million individuals receive care for causes including acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disability or terminal illness.  Annual expenditures were over $72 billion.