Tips to Lower the Cost of Long-term Care Insurance

Given the high cost of long-term care, it should come as no surprise that many people ask me what I think about long-term care insurance.  As I mentioned in a previous article, I am a big fan of long-term care insurance.  This despite the fact that such insurance has become costly: In 2022, the average annual premium for a long-term care insurance policy with a value of $165,000 ranged between $950 and $2,700 for individuals between the ages of 55 and 65.
Let’s look at a few ways to make it more affordable.
Typically, the younger you are when you apply for coverage, the cheaper your policy.  Of course, the benefits of the lower premium must be weighed against the number of years a younger person will likely pay premiums without requiring long-term care.  Similarly, you should purchase your policy while you are in good health.  Your medical history can affect premiums by as much as 150 percent.  If you have a serious medical condition, you may not be able to obtain coverage at all.
You can also reduce the cost of your policy by choosing a longer waiting period.  The waiting period is the length of time a policyholder must pay for services out-of-pocket before benefits kick in.  It is similar to a deductible but measured by time, not money.  A 90-day waiting period is a good choice for most people.
Another way to save is for you and your spouse to apply for coverage at the same time. Discounts for doing so can range between 10 and 35 percent.  Siblings who apply for coverage at the same time may also be able to receive a discount.  In addition, paying your premiums annually instead of monthly may earn you a discount.  Finally, it might be possible to deduct long-term care insurance premiums as medical expenses when filing your tax returns.
If you’re not sure whether long-term care insurance is right for you, I’m here to help you make an informed decision.
Until next time, take care…