Save on long-term care insurance

What you need to know about long and short term care policies.

Here's something to think about -- the median cost for a year in a nursing home is about $82,000 a year, according to an industry survey. Most Americans over 65 will need some type of long-term care.

Long-term care insurance can pay for the help you may need, but it's getting more expensive.

"Long-term care insurance can help cover the assistance you may need with things like bathing or preparing meals, in nursing and assisted living facilities and even in your home," said Consumer Reports Money Editor Penny Wang.

The average cost of such policies is about $2,700 a year. However, the older you are, the more you'll pay. You'll also pay more depending on your health. With some serious conditions like Alzheimer's or metastatic cancer, an insurer might refuse to offer a policy at all.

"An alternative is a short-term care policy which is generally about a third the cost of long-term insurance,” Wang said. “It can be less than $1,000 per year. But it covers a lot less."

You'll only get about a year in a nursing home and it may not cover an assisted living facility or home health aides.

Hybrid insurance combines life and long-term care in one policy. It allows you to tap into the death benefit if you need it for care. But that type of insurance requires a significant upfront payment. That averages $89,000.

A couple of caveats on hybrid policies -- the big upfront premium is not tax deductible, and the growth you get on the policy may be low. So, you might be better off investing the money wisely yourself and saving it for when you need more care.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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