As our loved ones age, we begin to think about life after home: Will my mom or dad be living in a nursing home, long-term care center, rest home or skilled nursing facility?

The 24-hour medical care that the elderly receive in a long-term care facility is one enormous benefit. Other benefits include therapy services, nutritional care, socialization and friendship, recreational activities and ― especially at Christian Health Care Center in Lynden ― spiritual support.

The question of cost, however, often is first on the minds of those considering long-term care.

Some families choose to pay out of pocket, while others rely on Medicaid or Medicare. Long-term care insurance provides an additional option, and there are many benefits. LTC insurance allows you to plan ahead, for example, with a good idea of costs and benefits down the road no matter what happens.

Not every LTC insurance plan is a good fit for every situation, however. Here are a few questions to consider when looking into long-term care insurance for yourself, your parents or your grandparents:

What is the monthly premium? Costs can vary widely, so it’s best to shop around to find the best rates that match what you need. Some policies include an inflation increase in premiums each year, so ask about that, too.

How much will the insurance pay per day? According to Deanna Miller, the resident accounts manager at Christian Health Care Center, the average daily room and board cost for a long-term care facility is roughly $300. If the insurance plan will pay less than that per day, you’ll need to include the difference in your calculations and weigh that against the support you’ll receive.

Is there a cap on benefits? Some insurance policies will pay as long as you’re living in a long-term care facility, Miller says, while others stop paying after a certain benefit dollar amount is reached. Either situation could be fine, depending on your needs, but it’s a good idea to ask about a cap so you know what to expect.

Is there a waiting period for benefits to kick in? Some plans have a 90-day waiting period before they begin paying for care, so a resident would need to spend three months in a facility before the insurance payments would begin. Other plans have a 30-day waiting period, and some begin paying on the first day in care. Premium costs vary with these options, of course, so it’s best to weigh these options against your individual situation and needs.

Miller says that she deals with half a dozen different long-term care insurance plans at CHCC, and all of them are easy to work with. To learn more about LTC insurance, or to discuss options with an expert at CHCC, reach out to us today.