Long-term care coverage can be a vital form of insurance to carry as you get older, but many times a married couple can’t afford to carry this coverage for both spouses. What are they to do in this case? You can never tell who is going to fall ill and when. Going by pure statistics, the wife should be the one who has coverage, as women tend to have longer lives and to gear more towards caregiving.
Still, there are many reasons why men might require this coverage as well, and there are a lot of factors to consider before you make the leap. Let’s examine what goes into long-term care coverage, how you can decide which spouse needs it more, and how your elder law lawyer can be a big help in this area.
Long-Term Care Coverage
What is long-term care coverage? In short, it’s a form of insurance that exists to cover you when you’re in a long-term care facility. Nursing homes can be quite expensive and more than one couple has lost their house over paying the bills.
Who Needs Coverage More?
Since women live longer than men, they tend to be more likely to end up in these facilities, and the rules of Medicaid also provide for some protection to cover the spouse of nursing home residents. For this reason, it can be best to buy for the wife.
It’s also important to realize, however, that when you do this, you’re paying the odds. In addition, because women are more likely to need and consequently to buy long-term care coverage, insurance companies have begun to charge higher premiums for women than men. That means it’ll be more expensive to play these odds.
Incentives for Couples
Some insurance companies, however, are starting to offer incentives for both members of the couple to buy coverage. It could be a discount to the premium, allowing both spouses to exist on the same policy, or a range of other benefits. These can be helpful because when you purchase such a shared policy, you are essentially paying for pooled benefits you can split. A five-year policy equates to ten years between both parties.
These policies might cost more, but it can be a relief and provide great peace of mind that no matter what happens, whoever needs the policy will be covered.
Working with an Elder Law Lawyer
Long-term care insurance can be an important part of your estate plan. However, it’s important to work closely with your elder law lawyer. Your attorney can advise you on how best to set up your insurance so that you’re getting the policy you need that will cover the spouse who most needs it. They can also advise you on directing your assets to cover your medical needs, while protecting them against loss when you end up in a home.
If you’re in the Cuyahoga County area, Stano Law is the elder law lawyer and estate planning attorney you can trust. Give us a call for a consultation today!