Long Term Care Insurance Terms

Please overlook the following terms that are pertinent to long term care and long term care insurance policies in Massachusetts and Boston:

Nursing Home

A place where people receive any of the three levels of nursing home care, which are skilled, intermediate or custodial care. Nursing Homes must be licensed by the state as a licensed and certified long term care facility. Other names for “nursing homes” are “extended care facility”, “swing unit”, or “after-care facility”.

Retirement Community

This is a place where the resident arrives under his or her own power for a more satisfying lifestyle.  Some retirement homes are licensed as “skilled care facilities”.

Assisted Living Facility

A non-medical unit providing room, board, laundry, some forms of personal care, and help with the activities of daily living (ADL).  They are also licensed by state departments of social services and are also referred to as “domiciliary care facility”, “sheltered homes”, “board and care” and “community-based residential facility”.

Home Health Care

This type of care requires a licensed professional, such as a doctor, registered nurse, or physical therapist to visit one’s home to care for him or her.

Home Care

Home Care differs from Home Health Care in that Home Care can be given by a non-professional to provide basic personal care. This type of care is the same as custodial care in a Nursing Home, where people receive help with the activities of daily living (ADL).

Elimination Period

The elimination period is the amount of time that must be satisfied after the Long Term Care Insurance is “triggered”, before the benefits will start to pay.  The longer this number is, the less expensive the policy will be.  Usually, elimination period can be anywhere between 0 and 365 days.

Benefit Periods

This refers to the duration of the payments from the insurance company. The more time one would like to insure for, the more expensive the premium will be.  Most benefit period range from 1 year to lifetime benefit periods.

Inflation Protection

This option, when chosen, will increase the base coverage by a set percentage every year or every other year, in order to stay competitive with the economy.  This rider does increase the cost of a Long Term Care Insurance Policy.  This rider is important, for the cost of long term care increases every year, so it is important that one’s policy keeps pace with the increasing costs.

Spousal Discount

This comes into play, when 2 spouses purchase a Long Term Care Policy together. They are rewarded a discount for this type of purchase.

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