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AARP Report: Comparing Long-Term Care Insurance Policies: Bewildering Choices for Consumers — Reviews the LTC insurance options available to consumers and offers recommendations; by Bonnie Burns, Training and Policy Specialist, CHA.

Radio interview:
Download MP3 podcast Long-Term Care Insurance with Bonnie Burns, Training and Policy Specialist, California Health Advocates. Her interview is in the 2nd quarter of the program.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care (LTC) insurance primarily pays for supervision or assistance with everyday tasks (such as bathing or dressing) when you have a physical impairment, or need supervision of these activities when you have a cognitive impairment such as dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease. LTC takes place at home, in a community program, in an assisted living facility (ALF) or in a nursing home. LTC services are often provided by family members or nurses' aides, and do not require the skilled care that nurses and doctors are licensed to provide.

LTC insurance benefits may be part of a life insurance or annuity policy, or contained in a freestanding LTC policy. Note: This section focuses on LTC insurance benefits contained in freestanding LTC policies. Insurance policies that also provide life insurance or annuity benefits are not explained. These policies are complex financial products that require professional assistance, and may have income-tax or estate-tax implications. You should consult a trusted financial advisor if you are considering combining life and annuity benefits with LTC benefits.

Note: LTC benefits are not generally part of Medicare. While Medicare covers certain short-term care (when skilled care is provided), it does not cover most LTC. You do not need to be on Medicare to get LTC insurance.

In this section, we explain your options for covering some of the costs of LTC, as well as important considerations and details about LTC insurance benefits.

In this section:

  1. Long-Term Care Insurance: An Overview

    Learn about LTC insurance, the different types available and general requirements.
  2. Items to Consider Before Buying Long-Term Care Insurance

    Find out what you should know before buying LTC insurance, including information about benefits, waiting periods and insurance agents.
  3. Options for Financing Long-Term Care

    Review LTC costs, public and private programs that help pay for care, and where LTC is provided.
  4. Long-Term Care Settings

    Discover the many options where you can receive LTC, including in your home, community day care facilities and various alternative living arrangements.
  5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Learn the answers to 15 common questions about LTC insurance.
  6. Resources

    Helpful fact sheets and information about LTC insurance.

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Updated April 16, 2013

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