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According to the Department of Health and Human Services, seniors have a 70 percent chance of requiring some form of long-term care in their life, and 20 percent of seniors will require it for at least five years. This care is expensive. In fact, the average cost for a nursing home room is about $97,500 per year.

Long-term care insurance is a valuable form of protection that covers long-term expenses that typically are paid for by Medicare and medical insurance. Here are tips for buying long-term care (LTC) insurance from an insurance agency to get the coverage you need.

There Are Discounts for Partners

One of the easiest ways to save money on LTC insurance is buying a policy with your spouse or partner. As a general rule, insurance companies offer discounts of up to 30 percent when you apply with a partner who is also approved. You can qualify for this discount by applying with a domestic partner or spouse as long as you live together.

Consider Inflation Protection

Due to inflation, what looks like a great benefit now may not be worth nearly as much when you eventually need to file a claim. If inflation averages 3 percent, a $150-a-day policy today may be worth just $62 in 30 years. The average cost of a nursing home room has increased by an average of 4 percent per year over the last five years, but wages for home health aides have increased just 1 percent a year.

You can protect yourself against inflation with a rider on your policy, but it's important to remember that inflation protection can be expensive. A 5 percent inflation rider is the most costly, but you can choose more affordable 2 percent or 3 percent protection. Another option is choosing a policy with a future purchase option. This does not give you an automatic inflation adjustment for a lower premium today, but it comes with the option to increase coverage later.

Buy Coverage as Soon as Possible

Once you decide that you want long-term care coverage, purchase a policy from your Jacksonville insurance agent as soon as you can, preferably before your next birthday. The ideal time to buy LTC coverage is in your 50s because premiums will increase every year. A 60-year-old couple may pay almost twice as much for coverage if they wait until 65 to buy. Due to tight underwriting guidelines, you should also buy a policy while you are in good health.

Purchasing long-term care insurance may one day be the greatest decision you ever made. Contact us at Della Porta Group to explore long-term care coverage options that fit your needs.

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