California residents who are keen to protect themselves and their families against the worst events in life may be considering long-term care insurance. However, you might not know much about LTC insurance or how it is handled in California. Let’s take a look:
- What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
- Types of Long-Term Care Insurance
- The Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies in California
- What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?
- How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost in California?
- Key Features of Long-Term Care Insurance in California
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance helps pay for long-term nursing care should you have to go into an assisted living home. It doesn’t matter what age you are when you access this plan as long as you require help with daily living needs. These plans aren’t as plentiful as they used to be due to increasing costs of healthcare. For instance, nursing homes cost about $288 per day for a semi-private room in California. However, it is still possible to get good coverage through about 20 or so providers nationwide.
Types of Long-Term Care Insurance
You’ll find that there are two main types of LTC insurance from which to choose. Each of these programs offer different benefits for policyholders:
- Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance: A stand-alone plan, traditional long-term care insurance only provides coverage for long-term care.
- Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance: Hybrid long-term care insurance is a two-part policy with a life insurance component. These policies usually feature larger premiums, but also allow your estate to recoup those premium payments made over the years.
The Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies in California
When you start the search for long-term care insurance, you’ll want to compare options from multiple companies. While the market isn’t as big as it used to be in the past, there are still insurance companies that offer quality , insurance. Luckily, we’ve already done the research on traditional long-term care insurance and hybrid long-term care insurers that offer plans to customers nationwide, including California.
In addition, California residents can also consider a program called California Partnership for Long Term Care. It used to be very popular but has lost demand due to massive premium increases. New policy sales has since been non-existent. This is similar to the discontinuation of another LTC product, CalPERS long-term care insurance.
What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?
Most LTC policies cover a wide range of needs from skilled nursing care to having a home health aide come in a few hours a day. According to the Administration for Community Living, some of the things you’ll see covered include:
- Nursing Care
- Occupational and Speech Therapy
- Physical and Rehabilitation Therapy
- Personal Care Assistance, Such as Bathing and Dressing
In the state of California, three types of LTC insurance are available to residents per the California Health Advocates Organization. These include:
- Home Care Only
- Nursing & Residential Care Only
- Comprehensive Long-Term Care, i.e. Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Home Care, and Adult Day Care
How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost in California?
Long-term care insurance in California can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars a year up to several thousand dollars a year. The amount depends a lot on your age when you first get the plan, your health, and the benefits you choose.
It’s difficult to get exact quotes from companies specifically for a region. We recommend you contact the company you are interested in directly to get a free long-term care insurance quote. We did pull estimates from one company, Genworth. They used to sell insurance policies through agents, but recently set up a consumer division for those who are interested in buying directly from the company. We pulled estimates for three potential policyholders; a single male of 55 years old, a couple both aged 40, and a single female who is also 55 years old.
|GenWorth||55 Yr. Old. Male||55 Yr. Old. Female||Couple – 40 Yrs. Old|
|Annual Premiums||$3,249.21 Annually||$4,219.69 Annually||$4,557.46 Annually|
|Benefit Multiplier||Two Years||Two Years||Two Years|
As you can see, long-term care insurance is more expensive for women compared to men. This is partly because women are expected to live longer. The couple paid roughly the same amount as the 55 year old woman even though they purchased insurance for two people. Getting LTC insurance at a younger age is generally cheaper as younger people aren’t expected to need long-term care for many years.
Key Features of Long-Term Care Insurance in California
There are a number of protections in place for California policyholders that may be unique from other states. Here are a few key features per the California Department of Insurance:
- In California, the minimum daily benefit for home care insurance is $50, but there is no minimum for facility care.
- Insurers may provide couples policies for married spouses and domestic partners.
- Insurers are required to provide Inflation Protection in LTC policies, such as a 5% annual benefit increase or a Benefit Increase Option that allows you to purchase increased daily benefits at stated intervals over time.
- Every LTC policy is Guaranteed Renewable in California and won’t be canceled unless you miss premium payments.
- California policyholders enjoy 30-Day Free Look protection that allows them to return their policy within 30 days of purchase and get their money returned no questions asked.
- LTC is covered in a standard long-term care insurance policy or as a hybrid life insurance/LTC policy.
- Californians can choose from three LTC policies; home care only, nursing and residential care, or comprehensive care.
- LTC insurance gets more expensive the older the policyholder gets over time, starting out at hundreds of dollars annually and increasing to a few thousand a year.
- California has a number of protections in place to ensure LTC insurance policies cover LTC costs, especially concerning inflation over time.