When Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

When Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

May 18, 2020

It’s true that most long-term care insurance claims are made when people reach their golden years, but there’s a misconception that you should wait until you’re approaching retirement to buy a policy. Waiting too long to purchase a policy can be very costly. Because rates are based on age and health, it’s best to start shopping for a policy when you’re young and healthy.

A good time to purchase is when you’re in your 40s or 50s. You can certainly buy a policy when you’re in your 60s or even older, but expect to pay considerably more. Plus, if you wait too long and develop a condition that may require longterm care, you could become uninsurable.

Rates are based on age and health. The younger you are, the lower your premiums generally will be.

Tips to help save on premiums

Buy young: Rates, in part, are based on your age. The younger you are, the lower your premiums generally will be. Also, the older you get, the more likely you are to have health concerns that make you uninsurable, or would make coverage more costly. Less than 5% of policies are issued for people age 70 or older.

Preferred health discounts: Most insurers offer preferred discounts to those in exceptional health. The majority of policies are issued with standard rates. If you qualify as a preferred customer, discounts of 10 percent or more may be available.

Couples/partner discounts: Many insurers offer discounts when both spouses or domestic partners apply for coverage together. Some may even offer discounts to multi-generational families or siblings who reside together.

Starter policies: Other financial priorities may make a comprehensive policy seem out of your reach, but some insurance plans can be designed to offer a smaller starter policy to give some protection now. You can sometimes add additional coverage down the road, or buy a supplemental plan to compliment your initial policy.