Long-term care (LTC) insurance covers the costs of nursing home and/or assisted living services. Under most long-term care policies, a person is eligible for benefits when they are not able to do at least two out of six “activities of daily living” without the assistance of a home-health professional, or they suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairment. The activities of daily living are:
• Caring for incontinence.
• Toileting (getting on or off the toilet).
• Transferring (getting in or out of a bed or a chair).
LTC insurance is expensive. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the estimated cost for end-of-life care in 2019 ranged between $233,000 and $367,000. Most health and disability insurances will not cover long-term care, but long-term care insurance will.
Long-term care insurance policies may have limits on how long or how much they will pay. Some policies will pay the costs of long-term care services for two to five years, while other insurance companies offer policies that will pay for a person’s long-term care costs for as long as they live, regardless cost.
Unfortunately, in the ongoing effort to cut their own costs, insurance companies routinely deny valid LTC insurance claims based on technical requirements in the policies. Insurance companies also deny LTC claims by disputing that a person’s medical condition requires the level of care covered by the LTC policy, or by suggesting that those seeking benefits are receiving more care than is necessary or have been placed in the wrong type of facility.