While there is no one age that fits every single person when it comes to the best time to buy long-term health insurance, the safest way to go is by living by the motto "sooner is better." Most experts will recommend that you get long-term health insurance coverage by the time you are in your early to mid 50s. While obtaining a long-term health insurance plan can be an expensive undertaking, you will be glad you made the investment when you need care. Let's dive deeper into why you should get long-term health insurance and when.
What Does Long-Term Health Insurance Cover?
Long-term health insurance covers a portion of the healthcare costs that you would incur if you were to ever need long-term care. This includes if you need to live in an assisted living or nursing facility or need treatments that lasted for extended periods of time for certain, developing health conditions.
Long-term care is rarely covered by Medicare, and, if it is, it's only for so long and under certain, extenuating circumstances. For lower-income seniors on Medicaid, the news is even more grim because Medicaid does not involve itself with covering long-term care at all under any circumstance for any length of time.
Having your own long-term health insurance can help you have a peace of mind knowing that you are covered if you ever need care for an extended period of time.
How Expensive is Long-Term Health Insurance?
Long-term health insurance will become more expensive for each year that you decide to put off getting insurance. Your long-term health insurance plan will increase in price annually on your birthday.
You can expect the average price of insurance to go up about 2% to 4% for every year that you put off getting your long-term health insurance coverage. Once you reach your 60s, the cost will go up more rapidly and you can expect a 6% to 8% increase in your cost each year to get covered on the same plan. Because of this sharp increase, it's better to start getting long-term health insurance before your 60s.
How Do I Afford Long-Term Health Insurance?
Purchasing long-term health insurance can be expensive, however, if you undertake the endeavor when you are relatively young you may receive a health discount. Health discounts are for those who are still relatively healthy and are less likely to need the long-term care they are purchasing. This allows people to lock in lower rates that cannot change in the future if your plan states such rules. The longer you wait and the older you are the less likely you are to get these discounts and the more expensive this coverage will be.
For more information on why you should consider getting long-term health insurance check out our Aging In Place Timeline to help you better understand what you should be doing for your long-term health insurance needs and when you should be doing it.
If you have any questions throughout the entire long-term health insurance purchasing process please feel free to contact a Caring team near you for further assistance!