Getting a Break From Long-Term Care Premiums

Dear Insurance Adviser, 

Do the premiums for long-term care insurance stop when you start taking insurance payments for a nursing home stay? -- Carl

Dear Carl,

Like disability insurance premiums, long-term care insurance premiums are almost always waived once you start collecting benefits. In fact, once you've met the "waiting period" (similar to a deductible), many long-term care policies will retroactively reimburse you back to your trigger date -- the date you first needed help with two or more activities of daily living.

Unless you have a very old policy, your premiums will be waived not only if you're confined to a nursing home but also if you receive care at an assisted-living facility or at home.

Depending on the policy, there is one other situation in which your premiums could be waived. Let's say you are married, the two of you purchased long-term care insurance together through the same insurance company at the same time and have held your policies for a specified time (typically seven to 10 years) without any claims. If your spouse dies, many of the newer policies will waive all of your future long-term insurance premiums. In other words, a surviving spouse will have premiums waived for life.

Since you are currently collecting benefits from your long-term care insurance policy, ask your claims representative how your policy's premium waiver works. Or, you can ask your insurance agent to explain it for you.

Good luck!

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