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7 Long-Term Care Insurance Shopping Tips for Women

How can women ensure they’ll receive the coverage they need at a price point that works for them?

1. Talk to an adviser about options. Discussing overall financial goals, concerns about the future, and the cost/benefits associated with the various options will enable an adviser to solidify an appropriate plan of action. If insurance is the answer, team up with a qualified long-term care specialist.

2. Reduce the risk of premium hikes. Purchasing a larger daily benefit with a lower Cost of Living Adjustment option can mitigate the risk for future increases.

3. Couples can consider shared-care policies. This option lets a married couple share, and potentially reduce, the gender differential on coverage available to men and women.

4. Plan for the needs of single women. Married people often delay filing long-term care insurance claims because the healthy spouse often performs the easy tasks.

However, single women must rely on caregivers in the absence of a healthy spouse. At the same time, single women may be able to accept a greater level of co-insurance since there is no spouse to care for.

5. Open a Health Savings Account (HSA). Tax-exempt HSA dollars can be used to pay long-term care premiums, subject to deduction limits. You must be covered by a qualified “high-deductible” health insurance policy to open an HSA.

6. Choose a hybrid long-term care insurance policy. Hybrid plans include life insurance and ensure that a premium will never increase and there is cash value in these universal policies. They pay the family in either life insurance proceeds or long-term care benefits.

However, there are some trade-offs. Hybrid policies often require substantially more premiums in the early years and inflation protection is very expensive.

7. Above all, plan early! Insurers are becoming more conservative, which means there’s been an increase in their rate of declining applicants due to their medical histories.

The sooner you plan, the more options you are likely to have in the future. Call us at RCB & Associates to take a look at your insurance options at 616-233-9050.

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