Sharing Your Long Term Care Insurance Benefits
One of your choices when buying long term care insurance is to choose a benefit period. The benefit period is the minimum amount of years your policy will pay your monthly benefits to you. Typical benefit choices are 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years or Unlimited.
Years ago if you purchased long term care insurance you might have bought an Unlimited benefit period. Many of our clients did. One reason is Unlimited benefit periods were more affordable 10 years ago than Unlimited benefit periods are today. Secondly, Unlimited benefits were readily available. Today, very few companies still offer Unlimited benefits.
Today, you may be considering benefit periods of 3 years, or 5 years. These are popular benefit period choices. And limited duration benefit periods are affordable.
Also, studies show limited benefit periods of 3-5 years will cover your claim a high percentage of the time should you need long term care.
The average long term care need is 3 years. A 5 year benefit period will cover your claim 92 % of the time.
Still, there is the risk that a long chronic illness such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's could lead to a longer than average claim.
If you are like many of our clients you might ask us ......"What if 3 years of benefits isn't enough?"
Shared Long Term Care Insurance -- A Great Option for Couples
As you are researching long term care insurance, you will probably read the oft-mentioned statistic that the average stay in a nursing home is 3 years.
You may have the knee-jerk reaction that you can simply buy a policy with a 3 year benefit period. Life, however, does not work in averages.
You may find that as life goes by you may not need a day of care, whatsoever; Your partner, however, might have a stroke and need care for 6 years.
My cousin, Paul did. Paul had a stroke and was in a nursing home in Pittsburgh for over 6 years. Paul's wife has not needed a day of care.
In this example, the average is 3 years. A 3 year benefit period, however, did not cover my cousin Paul's claim.
Solution: Share Your Long Term Care Benefits With Your Partner
With individual policies you and your partner each carry your own "Suitcase of Money"
For example, $3000 month, 4 year benefit period equals $144,000 in your " Long Term Care Suitcase."
With Shared Benefits, you and your partner each have keys to each other's "Suitcase of Money."
If you spend through your $144,000, you may immediately open your partner's "suitcase" and have access to your partner's benefits.
Thus, instead of having 2 individual "suitcases" of $144,000, you and your partner have one big Army duffel bag of $288,000.
Whoever needs it, uses it. You have twice the insurance coverage, but only at a fraction of its cost.
Long term care insurance with Shared Care is a great option for couples. And, the rates to opt for shared care benefits are very reasonable. For many of our married and partnered clients the choice to elect shared long term care insurance benefits is often an easy decision.
Does sharing your long term care insurance benefits make sense for you? Very possibly.
My wife and I elected the shared coverage option on our policies.
Please feel free to give us a call at 800-891-5824; or submit our long term care insurance quotes request form. We will be happy to provide you with quotes from the leading top-rated long long term care insurance companies.