Will Your Health Hold You Back from Long Term Care Insurance?
Published On: June 30, 2014
Last Updated: September 1, 2023
Planning for our future health isn’t exactly exciting; few people want to think about themselves as old and frail, but it is the reality that we must face. The older we get, the greater the chances that we will need help with daily activities like dressing, eating, and bathing. The risk of frailty, illness, and disease all increase as we age and planning for the cost of these potential situations is a critical part of planning for retirement.
Long Term Care Insurance can help you cover the cost of care and protect your assets from the bill. To improve your prospects of qualifying, it helps to be aware of what health conditions are and aren’t accepted when it comes to policyholder health.
Various factors affect your chances of approval for Long Term Care Insurance. A general rule of thumb is the longer you wait to apply, the lower your chances of qualifying. To obtain the best rates and maximize your chances of approval, we recommend you start looking at and researching policies in your late 40s and make the decision to buy in your early 50s. Even if you do have a serious health problem, though, don’t count yourself out just yet because there still may be a chance that you can qualify for a policy. I discussed the issue of qualifying for Long Term Care Insurance with LTC Tree co-founder Drew Nichols; watch the video below or read on to learn more.
What About Cancer?
Some people might assume they are disqualified from buying a policy because they have had health troubles already, so they don’t even bother to look into policies. In reality, though, while their health problems might increase their rates, they still have the opportunity to receive coverage.
If you have had cancer, you might be surprised to hear that you still have a chance of being approved for Long Term Care Insurance. Various types of cancer, prostate cancer included, are typically accepted by most major companies. There is often a one year waiting period imposed on those who had cancer, but once that time is up, you are free to apply for insurance. On the other hand, there are some less serious health conditions that can knock you out of the application process altogether.
People might be shocked by some of the health conditions that will disqualify you from Long Term Care Insurance coverage, but it helps to be aware of them when you are shopping for policies. The health underwriting requirements are constantly changing, so it’s hard to say what is accepted now will still be accepted next year. As companies gain more experience in the industry, they become familiar with what conditions pose a higher risk of claims usage and adjust the underwriting requirements accordingly.
High Risk Conditions
For example, diabetics who use insulin cannot get coverage from most, if not all, of the major companies. When this and other new standards are introduced, it leads to a more secure risk pool and subsequently, more stable premiums. Other more minor health issues that will keep you from being written a policy include back pain and joint pain. If you are taking painkillers like hydrocodone for your pain, you cannot qualify for a policy.
Knee surgeries also fall into the category of health issues that will knock you out of the running. Even if you haven’t had knee surgery yet, but you have discussed the possibility with your doctors, chances are you won’t receive a policy. If you are able to get coverage with some health issues, you’re likely to end up paying more for your premiums. Insurers place applicants into different rate classes based on their health, so the worse your health is, the more you will pay.
When applying for Long Term Care Insurance, there are a number of conditions and diseases that can knock you out of the game in terms of eligibility. The vast majority of people don’t start looking at this type of insurance until they are in their late 50s or 60s, which can often be a mistake. Many serious health problems that commonly appear at age 50 or 60 can disqualify you from qualifying for Long Term Care Insurance, so it’s best to shop early on if you have any medical issues. If you have any questionable health issues or are wondering if you will be able to qualify for a policy, get in touch with an independent agent who can help you sort through the requirements to see if you are eligible.
We can help walk you through all the available options for long term care coverage and determine whether or not you will qualify for a policy. We will provide you with a no-cost quote comparison of the top companies and policies for you to review on your own time. Fill out this form to request a free quote and we will be in touch with you shortly.
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