Long term care insurance policies are able to offer a large amount of features and options to consider. To help keep the cost low for your coverage, you should choose the options that are the most important based on your needs.

Waiting Period

Many long term care policies may pay for benefits immediately after the first year of care. If you choose coverage that does not pay for the first six to nine months of expenses, then you can reduce the cost of your insurance by around 25 percent. This is a risk that most are willing to take on.

Daily Benefit Amount

If you notice that the cost of long term care insurance in your region is around $75,000 annually, then you might want to check out a policy that would provide a daily benefit of around $200. You also need to remember to reduce this amount by retirement income sources such as Social Security, pension, and annuity income that you can use towards the cost. If your total retirement income is around $30,000, then you should by enough benefits to be able to cover the gap.

Married Discount

Some surveys have shown that the first spouse requiring long term care is care for in a home by the second spouse and this is how the claims are filed later on, if it ever happens. Insurance companies offer a discount on premiums for these married couples.


If you are purchasing coverage for a couple, then you should ensure that the full coverage and longer benefit period should be available for the female, because she is going to be the individual that will live the longest. Women who are age 65 or older have a 50 percent chance of requiring long term care, which is in contrast to the 33 percent for men of the same age. The goal is to cover the most likely risk in the couple and try to spend the least amount of money where there would be the lesser risk.

Increasing Benefits

It is important to ensure that the benefits will rise over time based on the fact that the costs of your long term care are absolutely going to continue to rise as time progresses. The majority of policies are able to offer the option to purchase an annual benefit increase that will factor into the policy premiums.

Services Covered

You should ensure that the definition of services that are covered include the skilled and custodial care that is provided at home or in a skilled care facility. It is very important to include home health aides, respite care, home-care services, and many other related options because these relieve family caregivers for periods of time, allowing them to rest. You should also ensure that your policy includes the costs of assisted living facilities.

Benefit Period

A third of all nursing home stays are for two or more years, so it’s important to choose a benefit period of at least two years. You might want to consider having a long waiting period with a benefit period of at least five years to help you save on expenses.