Wilson Financial Services Inc.

(859) 824-9422

Insurance Read Time: 4 min

What to Look for in an Extended-Care Policy

Extended-care coverage can be complex. Here's a list of questions to ask that may help you better understand the costs and benefits of these policies.

What types of facilities are covered? Extended-care policies can cover nursing home care, home health care, respite care, hospice care, personal care in your home, assisted living facilities, adult daycare centers, and other community facilities. Many policies cover some combination of these. Ask what facilities are included when you're considering a policy.

What is the daily, weekly, or monthly benefit amount? Policies normally pay benefits by the day, week, or month. You may want to evaluate how (and how much) eldercare facilities in your area charge for their services before committing to a policy.

What is the maximum benefit amount? Many policies limit the total benefit they'll pay over the life of the contract. Some state this limit in years, others in total dollar amount. Be sure to address this question.

What is the elimination period? Extended-care policy benefits don't necessarily start when you enter a nursing home. Most policies have an elimination period – a timeframe during which the insured is wholly responsible for the cost of care. In many policies, elimination periods will be either 30, 60, or 90 days after nursing home entry or disability.1

Does the policy offer inflation protection? Adding inflation protection to a policy may increase its cost, but it could be very important as the price of extended care may increase significantly over time.

When are benefits triggered? Insurers set some criteria for this. Commonly, extended-care policies pay out benefits when the insured person cannot perform 2 to 3 out of six activities of daily living (ADLs) without assistance. The six activities, cited by most insurance companies, include bathing, caring for incontinence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring. A medical evaluation of Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia may also make the insured eligible for benefits.2

Is the policy tax qualified? In such a case, the policyholder may be eligible for a federal or state tax break. Under federal law and some state laws, premiums paid on a tax-qualified extended-care policy are considered tax-deductible medical expenses once certain thresholds are met. The older you are, the more you may be able to deduct under federal law. You must itemize deductions to qualify for such a tax break, of course.3

Keep in mind, this article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice, so make sure to consult your tax professional before modifying your extended-care strategy.

How strong is the insurance company? There are several firms that analyze the financial strength of insurance companies. Their ratings can give you some perspective.

There are many factors to consider when reviewing extended-care policies. The best policy for you may depend on a variety of factors, including your own unique circumstances and financial goals.

1. ACL.gov, 2022
2. Investopedia.com, 2022
3. AALTCI.org, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Asset Protection  What it is and why it matters

Asset Protection What it is and why it matters

Asset protection is about having strategies to help protect personal assets and reduce risk if things go wrong.

Personal Finance Calendar

Personal Finance Calendar

Use this handy calendar to remember the year’s most important financial dates.

Making Sense Of A Home Warranty

Making Sense Of A Home Warranty

Understanding the value of a home warranty.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Tax-Advantaged Health Care Planning for Retirement

Heading into retirement with confidence is easier if your planning includes steps to minimize taxes, especially as it relates to health care planning.

It’s Time to Have a Talk with Your Parents

One of the strangest developments in the ever-evolving child-parent relationship is reaching the point when an adult child starts dispensing advice to his or her parents. It’s a profound, but natural turning point in the relationship.

Organizing Your Finances

Spark joy and become more confident by giving your finances the home organization treatment.

View all articles

Should I Pay Off Debt or Invest?

This calculator will help determine whether you should invest funds or pay down debt.

Should I Buy or Lease an Auto?

This calculator compares the financial impact of leasing versus buying an automobile.

Home Mortgage Deduction

Use this calculator to assess the potential benefits of a home mortgage deduction.

View all calculators

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

An Inside Look at Retirement Living

A number of questions and concerns need to be addressed to help you better prepare for retirement living.

View all presentations

Are Alternative Investments Right for You?

With alternative investments, it’s critical to sort through the complexity.

Dreaming Up an Active Retirement

When you retire, how will you treat your next chapter?

Video: The Independence of Financial and Emotional

Greater financial and emotional confidence brings greater independence. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

View all videos