Long-term care insurance

More insurance companies are offering long-term care policies and the cost and benefits can vary significantly according to the plan selected. A typical policy covers two types of long-term care.

  • Facility care. This coverage picks up your share of the cost if you enter a long-term care institution on the advice of a doctor. Protection is usually for the rest of your life.
  • Home care. This covers expenses arising from prolonged home confinement, such as 24-hour nursing care. The time period is often limited, typically to a maximum of two years. You may find that the coverage only kicks in after the first 60 days.

Important: If you’re considering this coverage, take a close look at the benefit levels. Compare them to the actual costs you would be facing, after the province pays its share. If you don’t need the maximum allowable benefit, ask to have it reduced. That will lower the premium.

Long-term care insurance can be very expensive. A couple aged 65 and 66 was recently quoted a combined premium of $5,645 a year by a major insurance firm. If your province provides a high level of financial support, such coverage may not bworth the expense. Weigh the options carefully and get all the facts before deciding.