Skip to Content
Grandparents with grandchildren symbolizing how planning your wills and estate can benefit the next generation.
Wills and estate planning

What is long-term care and should I consider long-term care insurance?

Assisted living. Retirement homes. Home health care. These topics can be difficult to discuss. But planning now with long-term care insurance is something to consider.

Long-term care is what you'll need if you are unable to perform your normal daily activities on your own - such as eating, bathing, and dressing. If this happens, you may need additional help for an extended period of time, or even for the remainder of your life.

In fact, a majority of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lives.And although it's typically associated with health care for the elderly, many times younger, working-age adults require long-term care due to a chronic illness or injury.

Whether it's provided in your home, at an assisted living or nursing facility, long-term care is typically very expensive and isn't covered by health or disability insurance, or even Medicare. So while your health insurance plan may cover nursing home expenses, it's generally only for a short time, such as when you are recovering from an illness or injury. With disability income insurance, you may receive compensation for a portion of your income (if you are unable to work), but not for long-term care. Medicare provides a very limited coverage for skilled nursing care following a hospitalization, but after that, it's up to you.

Considerations for long-term care insurance

If you find yourself in any of the above situations, you might be wondering just who pays the medical bills. In this case, you have the option of paying for costs out-of-pocket, using Medicaid, or long-term care insurance. However, Medicaid provides a very limited option for most people because not everyone qualifies, and not every health care facility will accept Medicaid coverage.

For these reasons, long-term care insurance can be a good option, especially if you have assets and income you want to protect, you don't want to be a financial burden to those you love, and you want a choice in the type of care that you receive.

Being financially ready for the possibility that at some point you will require long-term care is an important part of retirement planning. In fact, statistics show 70% of people who reach 65 will need long-term care.2 And with long-term care costing as much as $250 a day, it doesn't take long to completely deplete a lifetime of savings-even if you're "lucky" enough to only need it for a relatively short period of time.

If you're considering long-term care insurance, consult with a qualified insurance agent who can help you decide if long-term care insurance is right for you. And remember, like most life and health related insurance policies, long-term care insurance is often more affordable the younger and healthier you are. So it's best not to delay.





Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

A senior adult couple resting after a bike ride and discussing their last will and testament plans.

Estate planning basics: Updating your last will and testament

Learn more
Senior husband and wife smile while walking down a street abroad

Donating to charity in your last will and testament

Learn more
Man explains information while using hand motions

Power of Attorney document: What does it do?

Learn more
All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective or its subsidiaries.