Legal Insight. Trusted Advice.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance
Nov 29, 2023
Long-term care insurance can cover nursing home bills, assisted living fees, and in-home care, providing financial support if you require assistance with daily living when you get older. However, it can also be expensive. Determining the best time to buy long-term care insurance can help you manage your finances effectively as you prepare for the future.
Many people put off purchasing long-term care insurance until they need it, but by then, it may be too late. Not only do premiums increase as you age, you also may not even qualify for insurance due to your health. The older you are, the more likely you are to have a pre-existing health condition that will disqualify you from getting long-term care insurance.
States Are Now Enacting Laws Requiring Long-Term Care Insurance
An aging U.S. population is leading to an increased need for expensive long-term care services. In 2022, Long Term Care legislation was rolled out in Washington State, requiring all Washington State employees to pay into the state-run long-term-care insurance program for workers. Also in 2022, the New York State Senate proposed Bill S9082, or the “New York Long Term Care Trust Act” which aimed to establish a state-run Long Term Care program. With funding from a payroll tax, this Act would have provided long term care benefits at an initial rate of $100 per day with a lifetime maximum of 365 days worth of benefits.
Per the summary, this proposed Bill: “Establishes the New York long term care trust program to provide long term care benefits for eligible residents who have paid the required premium contributions and are in need of assistance with at least three activities of daily living as determined by the department of health.”
Bill S9082 did not pass its initial proposal, but it may still be enacted in the future. As the state-mandated policies would be funded by a set-rate payroll tax, high earning individuals may end up paying more into the policy than their benefits are worth. Therefore, individuals should research private long-term care insurance plan options now. Most of the state long-term care proposed legislation has included an opt-out for individuals who already have a private long-term care insurance policy, saving them from having to pay its associated payroll tax.
Most people are deterred from buying long-term care insurance due to the high cost of the premiums — and the hope that they will never need it. But with the potential for these insurance policies to be required at the state-level, it is more important than ever to look into your options now. If you are interested in buying this insurance, it is better to act sooner rather than later.
To find out how long-term care insurance fits into your long-term care plan, consult with the elder law attorneys at Kommer Bave & Ciccone LLP.