A person who turns 65 today has a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care at some time in their remaining years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. On average, women will need 3.7 years of long-term care and men will need 2.2 years of care. Only 20% will need care for longer than five years. In this article, we will be providing a few tips on how you can reduce the cost of long-term care insurance.
If you don’t have the financial resources to pay for this long-term care yourself – either for a nursing home stay or in-home care – you will likely consider long-term care insurance to fill the void. While annual premiums can vary according to your age and health status, they can be fairly expensive.
Here are some tips to reduce the cost of long-term care insurance:
Buy young. Since premiums rise as you age, purchasing a long-term care policy when you are younger can mean cheaper premiums. Be aware that premiums can increase as you age so be sure to discuss this with your insurer.
Shorten the benefit period. Lifetime policies are the most expensive and, since statistics show that most of us will not need long-term care for more than five years, you can save thousands of dollars in premiums if you buy a short-term policy.
Lengthen the elimination period. Most policies have a 30-90 day waiting period before coverage begins. If you can make this period longer, your premiums will be cheaper.
Reduce daily benefits. If you can pay for some of your long-term care needs yourself, you can reduce the daily benefit amount on your policy, which will result in lower premiums.
Share the care. A shared care policy could provide you both with more coverage for less money if you are married and both of you are buying long-term care insurance. A shared care policy provides a pool of benefits that are shared between you and your spouse, so if you buy a 5-year shared care policy, the two of you would have 10 years of benefits. Suppose your spouse only uses 3 years, then you would have 7 years of benefits to use.
Take the deduction. Your long-term care insurance premiums may be deductible. If they meet the requirements for “qualified” long-term care expenses, they can be deductible, with the amount depending on your age and tax year. For 2020, the deductible tax limits are listed below, as provided by the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance.
2020 Tax Deductible Limits Long-Term Care Insurance
Premiums paid for traditional long-term care insurance are includable in the term ‘medical care’.
The following are the 2020 limits (per-individual):
Attained Age Before Close of Taxable Year 2020 Limit (2019)
40 or less $430 ($420)
More than 40 but not more than 50 $810 ($790)
More than 50 but not more than 60 $1,630 ($1,580)
More than 60 but not more than 70 $4,350 ($4,220)
More than 70 $5,430 ($5,270)
As you can see, the older you are the higher the premium. You can also see that the big divide comes with those who secure their decision before they are 60 years old.
The Bottom Line: Whether you are considering Long Term Care Insurance or you want to know what your alternatives might be with Estate Planning, I am here to help. The earlier you decide your future (and the future you want for your loved ones) the better! There is always SOMETHING that we can do. Book a free 15-min phone call with me or simply stop by my office and ask your question.
Want to learn more?
Are you interested in learning more about how to protect your loved ones and your assets? I host a free educational seminar called “Wills, Trusts and the Nursing Home” and you’re invited to join the next one! I am in the middle southern Tennessee area if you want to attend live. We also have the option for you to livestream one of our events. Visit live.pierchoskiestatelaw.com to attend the next seminar near you or call our office at 931-363-7222.