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Long Term Care Insurance 101

What Happens When You Apply For A Long Term Care Insurance Policy

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Insurers look at your health history and current status before deciding whether to issue a Long Term Care Insurance policy (and, if so, at what price and other terms). This process is known as "Underwriting."

Underwriting may include:

  • Review of your medical records.
  • A telephone call to you with questions to determine if you have a mental (cognitive) impairment.
  • A visit from an insurance company representative to check on ongoing problems with your physical or mental status.

What To Do When You Receive Your Long Term Care Insurance Policy

It is advisable to read and understand every provision of any insurance policy you purchase. This is particularly true with Long Term Care Insurance because if you become so ill that you need the benefit, you will most likely not wish to do battle with an insurance company at that time. For example, you are generally required to pay for the first days of care - for example 90 days. Are those calendar days or just days you receive care? If you get home care, do you have to use a special agency or can you hire caregivers yourself? Does assisted living cover the cost of housing or only the care you receive? Can you choose the location in which to receive care?

Don't rely on what a sales person tells you or even what promotional literature states. If it's not in the policy, you're not covered. Check your policy.

You generally have 30 days after receipt of a policy to review it. You can return the policy during that period of time for a full refund of your premium if you decide it's not for you.

If you have difficulty understanding the provisions, hire a professional to help you such as a Financial Planner or a Lawyer - not the person who has a financial interest in selling you the policy.

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