Long term care insurance
What does long-term care mean?Long-term care services may be provided in a variety of settings: at home, through adult day care, in a retirement home, assisted-living setting, or long-term care facility. Services may include: nursing care rehabilitation and therapy personal care (help with activities of daily living such as dressing, eating and bathing) homemaking services (cleaning, laundry, preparing meals) having another person there to watch over you and help you when and where you need it It’s easy to take our ability to perform day-to-day activities for granted, but this can change… especially as we age. Fortunately, most of these changes aren’t dramatically different from one day to the next – it’s more of a gradual process. In fact, you will likely pass through 5 stages of care, to some degree, in your retirement. When you build and review your retirement income plan, it’s important to consider your future health care needs. Long term care insurance can help you protect this plan – helping you maintain your standard of living as much as possible.
5 Stages of care
- Supportive living
- Crisis management
How does it work?What does this cover? The cost of your care over a lengthy period. Some plans cover you only when you’re receiving care in a long-term care facility, while other plans will cover you when you receive care in any setting within Canada or the United States.
When does a benefit become payable to me?
All long term care insurance plans in Canada have a period of time, usually 90 or 180 days that you must wait before your benefits are payable – often called a waiting period or elimination period. This means you can receive your benefit after you’re dependent for longer than the number of days in your selected waiting period.
How is the benefit paid to me?
Some plans reimburse you for eligible expenses you incur on a given day, up to a pre-set maximum – you need to pay for your care costs upfront and submit receipts before you receive any benefits. Other plans are more flexible, offering an income-style benefit – you will be paid a pre-determined amount of money when you need care, without having to submit receipts. And, you can use this benefit to cover any type of service, including care that family members provide.
How much can I get?
Some plans offer benefit amounts as low as $10 per day while others can range as high as $10,000 per month. For plans that require you to submit receipts, your benefits are paid on a “use it or lose it” basis – if your receipts for care received in January are less than your maximum benefit amount, the remaining benefit for that month are forfeited. Unused benefits may not be added to February’s maximum benefit amount.
How long are my benefits paid to me?
Some plans will pay your benefits for up to 1 year, while others plans may pay for 2 years, 5 years or even an unlimited number of years.
When should I consider getting coverage?
You’re planning for your retirement and want to protect your assets and/or your estate. You want flexibility and control so you won’t have to rely on the government or others for your care. You want freedom and the ability to choose the type and level of care you want. You’re expected to be a caregiver for your spouse or parent and would like to have the financial freedom to care for them – you can insure them and protect yourself.