Plan for long-term care without breaking the bank

According to a 2011 survey conducted by Sun Life Insurance, 36% of Americans believe that they would need long term care insurance. However, the same study also indicated that about 84% of the respondents feel that they are not financially ready for it. If you share the exact same sentiments, you need to know that there are ways by which you can reduce long term care costs. Here are some of them.
How to Cut Costs: Some Useful Tips to Consider

Consider buying young. Long term care insurance premiums rise as you age so consider buying while you are young. However, you need to be aware that premiums are subject to increase so you may need to prepare for it and weigh it against the consequences.
Buy a shared care policy. If you and your spouse are both thinking about purchasing long term care insurance, you may want to buy a shared care policy instead. By doing so, you can get more coverage for less.
Don’t go for the maximum daily benefit. While some people may want to feel that all their the future needs will be covered by choosing the maximum coverage available, choosing one that offers a lower daily benefit will translate to lower premiums.
Don’t buy a lifetime policy. Contrary to what most people think, not all people need to buy a lifetime policy. In fact, according to the results of a study conducted by the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance, a three-year benefit policy can be sufficient for most people’s needs.
Go for a longer waiting period. The longer the elimination period before your coverage begins, the lower your premiums would be. However, please consider the fact that you need to pay for all the costs associated with your care out of your own pocket until your coverage begins.
Learn how to negotiate for better rates. Here are some tips that can help you get a better deal when choosing home care agencies, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes:
  • Do your homework. Don’t settle for the first home care agency you find. Interview several local agencies and let them know that cost is one of the most important factors that will help seal the deal.
  • Look for leverage. Some assisted-living facilities may give you a more expensive room at a lower price or even waive the one-time move-in fee if they have a high vacancy rate so don’t hesitate to ask around for things that you can use to your advantage.  
You can plan for long term care without breaking the bank. You just need to make the necessary preparations and know where you can possibly cut costs to make it work.