Insurance Tip #2: You may not need long-term care insurance


This post is part of a series where personal finance expert Dan Solin provides 10 insurance tips no one else will tell you. See all 10, plus one bonus tip!

Don't get me wrong. Many people do need long-term care insurance.

According to Debra C. Newman, the owner of an insurance agency that specializes in long-term care policies, 68% of Americans over age 65 will require some form of long-term care. The cost of this care can range from $3,000 to $9,000 per month. On average, care may be required for up to five years, with an average nursing facility stay of 2.4 years.

A common misconception about long-term care is that it is only required by senior citizens. Not true. According to one report, almost 40% of long-term care recipients were of working age.

But before you grab the phone to call your insurance agent, consider whether you really need this insurance.

Long-term care provides assistance with daily tasks for those who need some help in order to remain independent. The primary benefit of long-term care is that it may permit you to receive care in your home, so be sure your policy covers home care and not just nursing home care.

Before buying long-term care coverage, consider the possibility that your care may be covered by Medicare or Medicare Supplement insurance. Medicare does not cover "custodial care" (assistance with daily living tasks) either at home or in a nursing facility. However, if you meet certain conditions, Medicare may cover

"medically necessary" care in a nursing home or at home.