Long-term Care

Long-term Care

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Long-term care insurance is a growing trend in the employee benefits arena, being used to help attract and retain top performers. A recent survey revealed that 45% of companies now offer long-term care insurance to their employees as a voluntary benefit.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care (LTC) refers to a wide array of medical care, personal assistance and social support services for people who are physically or mentally unable to independently care for themselves for an extended period. This care can be provided in a nursing home, an assisted living facility or in one’s home. Individuals needing LTC require assistance performing basic activities for daily living or suffer from severe cognitive impairment. Generally, the disabilities requiring LTC are caused by accidents, illnesses or advanced age.

Long Term Care 2What is long-term care insurance?

To combat the high costs of long-term care, LTC insurance protects individuals against incurring large out-of-pocket expenses in the future by paying affordable monthly premiums now. There are two different types of long-term care insurance policies available:

  • Individual long-term care insurance
  • Group long-term care insurance

Individual policies are generally purchased by people whose employers do not offer a group policy, or by those who feel that they need to supplement their employer’s policy to obtain the most coverage possible. If employers and associations offer long-term care insurance to employees in the form of a group long-term care insurance policy, the policy may not offer the same level of protection afforded by individual long-term care insurance policies. Prior to purchasing a group policy, it is wise to compare the level of protection offered and the level of protection guaranteed in comparable individual policies. Long-term care insurance policies should also clearly state if they are individual or group policies.