Will a long-term care insurance policy pay for home health care from a nurse practitioner?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Is an advanced registered nurse practitioner covered under a long-term care policy?

Expert Answer

A long-term care insurance policy can pay for the services of a nurse practitioner -- a nurse with advanced training -- under some circumstances.

First, the policy has to cover home care. (Some policies, particularly ones issued in the 1980s, cover nursing home care but not home care.) If a policy with home care coverage is used to pay for care from a certified home health care agency, the agency would have to decide that the higher skilled and more expensive services of a nurse practitioner were required.

Some policies that pay for home care don't require that services be provided by a certified home care agency. These policies pay a certain amount per day for home care but allow the policy holder to spend the money in any way he likes. If you have this kind of policy, you can spend your benefits on care from a registered nurse practitioner, or on a non-certified, unofficial home care aide, or on anyone else, in whatever combination you choose.