Should I purchase long-term care insurance for my mother?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 23, 2016
Lostchild asked...

Hello- My mother is 66 years old, I am an only child and want to plan for her furture expenes. I will be unable to care for her, if soemthing happens, she has medicare and will be receiving CHAMPVA soon. Should I purchase long-term care insurance for her? I want to keep her in her house for as long as possible and she did not plan for her future. What kind should I get for her? I'll be paying for it for her.

Thanks- this is all overwhelming.

Expert Answers

Duane Lipham is a certified long-term care (CLTC) consultant who writes extensively on long-term care insurance issues. Lipham has also been a caregiver for members of his own family.

Medicare and CHAMPVA are wonderful programs that assist with health care costs, but neither are designed to provide meaningful benefits for long-term care services.

The Medicaid program available through your mother's home state will provide long-term care but the financial qualifications for receiving these benefits are very stringent and will most likely leave your mother impoverished. Also the care received through Medicaid services is most often provided in a facility and not at the recipient's home.

If you want to be sure that your mother has the choice of receiving home care for as long as she can, a long-term care insurance policy may be a good solution. Of course, the cost of long-term care insurance is not cheap simply because the cost of long-term care itself is so expensive.

We are seeing more and more families work together to buy long-term care insurance for parents who may not be able to afford it on their own, to be sure that their parents are able to receive quality care in the setting of their choice for as long as possible.

I would recommend that you investigate long-term care insurance as soon as you can because your mother is at an age where the premiums for this insurance will be increasing in cost from year to year very rapidly from now on. Once the purchase of the insurance is made it is based on the age of the applicant as well as other factors, and therefore the earlier that you buy long-term care insurance, the lower the cost, generally speaking.

It would also be good to work with a long-term care insurance specialist who can help educate you on how these policies work and help tailor a policy that will provide meaningful benefits for your mother and be as affordable as possible.