YOU ASK:

Can I buy long term care insurance to cover my parent?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, you can. In fact, potential caregivers (usually children of aging parents) buy long term care insurance to prepare for the inevitable. This is particularly true if the child has more disposable income than the parent. The long term care insurance would help not just the parent but the caregivers as well, since they would have help in the expenses earmarked for the care of their parents.

There is one thing you should remember, though. You will be buying long term care insurance under your parent's name and it will not be under your name. That means you can't buy long term care insurance naming you as the insured and just add your parents as your dependent. The policy must name your parent as the insured. Your parent will be the one who will sign the policy and meet the qualifications that the insurance company may set - which may include medical tests and a review of your parent's medical history.

It is very important to buy this coverage for your parents before it's too late. If you can afford it and your parents are approaching 60, then it is highly recommended that you already get the coverage for them. Many children failed to do so and now act as their parents' caregivers, paying for the steep fees for nursing home care or in-home nursing assistance.

If you are thinking of buying this policy, think about these factors:

  • How long do you think will you be paying the premiums? Can you afford this length of payment? Can your parents also help out in the payments? This is because you have to be committed to the policy, otherwise, you may lose out on your premiums if you decide to cancel the policy before you can make any claims.
  • What facilities would you like the policy to cover? Ask your parents about their preference as to the kind of long term care they would like.
  • How much would you like the benefits to pay (daily or monthly)?

They say that hindsight has 20/20 vision. We recommend that you seriously think about getting this for your parents. If you have siblings, you should also discuss this with them so that you can decide among yourselves how you will pay for the policy (i.e. what each sibling's contributions will be).

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