Preventing Long Term Care Policy Lapses

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Long term care in a nursing home is extremely expensive. One way to mitigate that expense is to purchase a long term care insurance policy. Unfortunately, many of the people most in need of long term care insurance let their policies lapse before they need them.

Planning for end-of-life medical care often goes hand-in-hand with estate planning. An estate plan is useless if nursing home costs eat up all of your savings as there will be no assets left for your heirs to inherit through the estate plan.

For this reason it is important to decide how you will pay for nursing home care should you ever need it.

Long term care insurance policies are a popular and effective solution. However, more than a third of the people who purchase long term care policies let them lapse before they need them to pay for nursing home expenses.

Most of the time people do not intentionally let the policies lapse. Instead, they simply forget to pay the premiums.

This may not happen out of ordinary forgetfulness but may happen because as we age we often start to suffer from cognitive impairments.

Unfortunately, the people who suffer from the cognitive impairments that would make them forget to pay the insurance premiums are the very same people who are most likely to need long term care in a nursing home.

Next Avenue reported on this problem in "How Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Backfire."

The article does point out a potential solution to this problem. It is possible to have the insurance policy statements sent to a trusted third party who can make sure that the premiums are paid.

However, if this is going to work as an anti-lapse strategy, it needs to be done when the policy is first purchased rather than risking forgetfulness later in life.

Reference: Next Avenue (Nov. 6, 2015) "How Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Backfire."

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