If you are in the State of New Jersey and would like to discuss your estate plan, our team at Willis Law Group LLC is here to provide you with any assistance that you may need. We are pleased to now also offer Snap Estate Plan services, where you can acquire Attorney-Drafted Estate Plans from the comfort of your own home. To schedule a virtual consultation with us, give our main office a call at (877) 296-2575.
The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This has resulted in questions about how COVID-19 has influenced the costs and provision of long-term care insurance, which covers care in facilities and sometimes at home as well.
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may wonder how it is affected by the pandemic. If you do not have a policy, you may wonder if the pandemic will make it more difficult to get one. A recent article by US News and World Report examined issues with long-term care insurance that have arisen in the last few months, including the following:
Qualifying for insurance. It is already more difficult to qualify for long-term care insurance as you get older. Because older individuals are at a higher risk for the coronavirus, this can affect long-term care application as well. Some insurers have been limiting applicants based on age, and some have been placing additional restrictions on applicants who have been in contact with the virus. If you had a positive COVID-19 test, you may have to wait for three to six months before qualifying for insurance. These policies vary by company.
Premiums. Insurers cannot raise rates for customers due to individual circumstances. To raise rates, insurers must obtain approval from the state and raise them for the entire group. However, if you are considered to be at a high risk due to exposure to the coronavirus, you may not qualify for the best rates when you first apply for long-term care insurance.
Moving out of a nursing home. If you have a policy and want to move out of a nursing home, you will need to check on your policy to see if it will pay for the move. Some policies pay for long-term care in a variety of settings, including home care, but others are more restrictive. However, you may be able to use your policy to reserve your bed, allowing you to keep your nursing home spot.
Home care. If you have a policy that was paying for home care, there could be changes to it. Some home care workers are charging more for work during the pandemic, which could exceed your policy coverage. Another change may be to the number of people entering your home. You may want family to provide care, rather than an outside home health care worker. Unfortunately, most long-term care policies do not pay for family members to provide care. However, if you are not using the insurance to pay for care, your coverage may last longer (again depending on the policy).
There are lots of uncertainties regarding long-term care, insurance and COVID-19. Refer to the links below for additional information.