Why It’s Important to Understand Your Long-Term Health Insurance Policy

March 5th, 2015 by John Wilson

Does your long-term care insurance cover the cost of assisted living?

The cost of assisted living may be covered by long-term care insurance.

Long-term health care can often be expensive, growing even more so as we age and develop ongoing health issues. When issues do arise, it’s beneficial to be covered by long-term health insurance. Despite the advantages of having long-term health insurance, these policies can often be confusing. Rather than ignore the intricacies of your insurance policy, learn why it’s important to understand what you’re covered for – and what you’re not.

Know Your Policy

More than eight million Americans have long-term care, or LTC, policies, but only a handful know exactly what their policy covers. This means most seniors in living assistance won’t end up taking advantage of the benefits they could be receiving, simply because they aren’t aware of them. Here are some common challenges facing seniors with LTC insurance policies and how to overcome them:

Not All Policies Are Created Equal

Unlike other health insurance products, there is no standard LTC insurance policy. This type of insurance is still mostly unregulated, meaning each policy may be different than the next. This makes knowing your own policy more difficult and can lead to added confusion when you attempt to get help from family or friends in order to better understand your benefits.

LTC Policies Can be Overwhelming

Insurance policies are filled with legal terms and jargon that the average person probably doesn’t understand. In addition to the confusing language, many seniors and their families often don’t pay much attention to the details of their policy until they need to use the benefits. By then, seniors may be too overwhelmed to take the time to figure out their policies or make the necessary claims in order to ensure their care is covered, such as the cost of assisted living.

Some Policies Won’t Cover Newer Care

According to data from the long-term care provider Genworth, the average cost of assisted living is $3,450 a month for a one-bedroom unit. Because some types of care like assisted living were not as prevalent decades ago, your LTC insurance policy may not cover it. If your insurance policy was written before these newer types of senior care became popular, it’s important to double check to make sure the health services you need will be paid for by your insurance benefits.

The best way to avoid running into challenges with your long-term health insurance policy is to take the time to understand it before you need to take advantage of the benefits it provides. Read through your policy, noting what types of care are covered and which are not. If you’re having trouble making sense of your policy on your own, there are services that can help seniors figure out their LTC policy and learn how to properly utilize their benefits.

If you are in the market for affordable assisted living for seniors, contact us. The staff at Village at Oakwood assisted living in Oklahoma City provides caring and compassionate living assistance to residents in a safe and healthy environment.

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