YOU ASK:

If you are 70 can you still get long term care insurance?

WE ANSWER:

It's highly unlikely that you can get long term care insurance this late into the game.

Long term care insurance is issued based on the insurance company's medical underwriting. The insurance company will check your medical history and require that you take medical exams. Only after you passed these qualifications will you be issued a policy.

At the age of 70, passing these qualifications may be hard. According to a survey, 23% of those who are in their 60s fail to meet the criteria while those in their 70s only have a 50% pass rate. You would also be retired from work at this age and thus will not be able to get the coverage through a group plan that employees usually can avail of.

Even if you pass the qualifications, the premiums charged for those in their 70s will be astronomical. And with your limited income at this age, you may be better off setting your money aside for your immediate needs. However, if you really want the coverage, you can turn to your assets and liquidate them so that you can have the finances to pay for the insurance, or to pay for the long term care services themselves.

They say that the best time to get this coverage will be while you are in your 50s to early 60s. At this age, it may be easier for you to pass the medical exams. The premiums may also be more affordable.

Here are some options you can check out to help provide for your long term care needs:

  • Medicaid. If you are eligible for this, it can provide you with a daily allowance earmarked for your long term care fees. However, you need to show that you have very little by way of assets.
  • Using your assets to finance your long term care needs. You can sell your home and move right into a nursing home using the proceeds of the sale. You can also apply for a reverse mortgage, which gives monthly payments for your equity on the house. However, if you want to get a reverse mortgage, the other spouse should keep living on the house.
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