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Financial Services

Illinois Department on Aging
421 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 100 / 800-548-9034
Springfield, IL 62701-1789 / 217-782-5020

Information on long-term care policies available in Illinois. We do not endorse any of these products.

  1. Long-Term Care is Different From Traditional Medical Care
  2. Long-Term Care Can be Expensive
  3. You Have Options When Paying for Long-Term Care
  4. Decide Whether Long-Term Care Insurance is for You
  5. Pre-Existing Condition Limitations
  6. Know Where to Look for Long-Term Care Insurance
  7. Check With Several Companies and Agents
  8. Don’t be Misled by Advertising
  9. Make Sure the Insurance Company is Reputable
  10. Review Your Contract Carefully

*National Association of Insurance Commissioners, A Shopper’s Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance, NAIC, Washington, D.C. 2009, pp. 9-25

When Should You Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?
The New Affordable Health Care Act suggests that not only older people need long-term care. Anyone with a disability, or who has a Serious Accident, who gets Cancer or Diabetes may need institutional care during his or her lifetime.

What Is a Benefit Elimination Period?
Most policies have a period of 30-90 days after you start using the long-term care or become disabled before they start paying your benefits. During the elimination period, the policy will not pay the cost of long-term care services. You may have to pay the cost of your care during this period.  If you are on Medicare, they may pay the first 90 days  of nursing home care but only if you were an in-hospital patient for 3 or more days and then transferred to a nuring home with doctor's orders.

When Are You Eligible for Benefits?
Companies look for reports of the following behaviors exhibited by the client related to Activities of Daily Living (ADL). The inability to do activities of daily living is the most common way insurance companies decide when you are eligible for benefits. These abilities are bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring. Cognitive Impairment is another trigger that can activate benefits this includes a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Check to see if your policy provides payment for home health services, assisted or supportive living, and not just nursing home care. Some Long-term care policies will pay benefits if your doctor orders or certifies that the care is medically necessary.

What if you Outlive Your Long-Term Care Insurance?
Determine if you are eligible for Medicaid and if the facility you are in takes Medicaid patients. Eligibility for Medicaid depends on your assests.