How come I do not qualify for long term care insurance?

4 answers | Last updated: Jan 30, 2014
Dotti asked...

I've had cancer surgery and successfully completed chemo and radiation. I use oxygen on and off. Why can't I get long-term care insurance? I was told I did not qualify.

Expert Answers

There is almost no regulation by the government of long-term care insurance. So, no one has a "right" to buy long-term care insurance. That results in insurance companies refusing to sell policies to people they think are likely to collect on the policies soon, or who might collect for a long time. If an insurance company thinks the odds are that it might not make money on you, it won't sell you a policy. This is often the case when someone has had a serious preexisting illness or condition, as you have, even if it is in remission.

But just because one insurance company won't sell you a policy doesn't mean that all companies won't. There are many insurance companies and policies to choose from, so you should continue to shop around. In particular, a company might be willing to sell you a policy with a long exclusion period regarding the return of the specific cancer you've already had. This means that if and when this specific cancer returned and was the cause of your need for long-term care, the policy would not pay any benefits for a period of time, even though your condition would otherwise trigger benefit payments under the terms of the policy. This kind of exclusion period certainly doesn't make for the best coverage, but it might at least make it possible for you to buy some long-term care insurance.

Another thing you might look for is group long-term care insurance, which you could buy into without regard to your personal health history. Your employer might offer such policies. Also, if either you or a spouse is a veteran, check with the Department of Veterans Affairs about its long-term care insurance program. Also, professional, labor, fraternal, or other nonprofit organizations may offer group long-term care insurance policies.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

Even if you got turned down before, you could still look for insurance companies who might be willing to cover you. I suggest you request some quotes online, maybe or's a lot out there! Once they get your request then an long-term care agent will call you to help you out in creating a policy. The premiums might be a bit more expensive in your case since you already have a medical history that would cause most insurers to run, but what you need is a knowledgeable agent who's accredited with a lot of reputable carriers. Goodluck.

Karen lorenzo answered...

You might have been denied of buying long term care (LTC) insurance because a lot insurance providers have pre-existing conditions, this means that if you already have an illness prior to getting and ltc insurance, you will not qualifity, or if you already bought one but have one of those conditions when you bought it, you will be denied to file for a claim. However, insurance providers have different rules regarding this condition, so you might as well talk to different providers to see if you will be able to buy and ltci for you.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Sorry to hear you've been denied long-term care insurance. That's because most companies wouldn't want to take the risk of insuring people who already have health problems. Think of it as home insurance. You won't insure a house when it's already burning. The same is true for LTC insurance. You can't be insured if you're already sick and companies know that you will use your policy now. You have to get it when you're young and healthy. You can still look for companies who may want to cover you for long-term care. Here are some sites to check: