Care Health

Prioritize Healthy life

How to pay for long-term care insurance

How to pay for long-term care insurance
These creative options could make it easier to pay for your long-term care. 

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Age deteriorates the body — it’s part of the human condition. Unfortunately, that means that many people will need help with day-to-day tasks at some point in their lives. That assistance is known as long-term care

But long-term care can be expensive, and in some cases, you could end up paying thousands of dollars per month for it. That’s where long-term care insurance comes in. It helps cover the cost of long-term care if and when the need arises. 

Then again, long-term care insurance comes with its own price tag, which can be costly depending on your age, location, health status and gender. Luckily, there may be some effective ways to absorb this added expense.

Find out how affordable long-term care insurance can be today

How to pay for long-term care insurance

There’s a good chance you’ll need long-term care and that care can be expensive. A long-term care insurance policy could help you plan for that expense. Here are a few ways to make paying for the coverage you need easier to handle: 

Take advantage of single-premium long-term care insurance

There are multiple options to consider when determining how you’ll pay for long-term care insurance. The most common is to pay for it through regular installments (typically monthly or annually). However, you could also decide to pay for your coverage with a single up-front payment. 

This option means that you’ll likely need to come up with a large amount of money to pay your premium upfront, but it may be smart to repurpose some of your retirement funds to cover the cost. After all, your retirement account is designed to ensure that you’re financially prepared for later in life, and long-term care can be a threat to your financial stability in retirement. 

And, you’ll likely need to plan for other risks, like inflation and home repairs, as you create your retirement plan. Why not use your retirement funds to plan for your long-term care too? 

Purchase long-term care insurance now to make sure you get the care you deserve

Add a long-term care rider to your life insurance policy

One low-cost way to ease the financial burden your long-term care could become is to incorporate your care into your life insurance. You can do this by adding a long-term care rider to your life insurance policy

This rider can be added to your life insurance policy and lets you use a certain percentage of your death benefit to cover long-term care expenses. Life insurance policies with long-term care riders are often called hybrid policies because they cover more than one event — the need for long-term care and the death of the policyholder.

Of course, adding a long-term care rider to your life insurance policy will likely increase your premiums. But that increase in your life insurance premiums will generally be less expensive than a standalone long-term care policy could be. 

Use your HSA to pay your premiums

Healthcare savings accounts (HSAs) are tax-advantaged deposit accounts that let you save for your healthcare needs on a pre-tax basis. You can use these accounts to pay healthcare deductibles, cover the cost of medication and more. But did you know your long-term care premiums are a qualified HSA expense? That means you can use the tax-advantaged money you’ve saved in your HSA to ease the cost burden of your long-term care policy now. 

Purchase your policy early to make sure it’s affordable

“Consider getting a long-term care policy as soon as possible because the younger you are and the better your health, the better your chances of qualifying for it and it being more affordable,” says John Hill, president of Gateway Retirement. 

You may be surprised at the difference just a few short years can make in terms of long-term care insurance costs. So, if you lock in your rate now, it could mean that your payment stays affordable throughout your retirement. 

Enroll in a long-term care insurance policy now to lock in the lowest rate

The bottom line

Monthly payments on a standalone long-term care insurance policy aren’t the only way to ensure you get the care you need. It may help to consider paying for your care all at once, adding a long-term care rider to your life insurance or tapping into your HSA to make it easier for you to pay for coverage.