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When to Start Long-Term Care Insurance

April 14, 2021


Thanks to medical advances and changes in lifestyle habits, many of us are living longer than we ever would have before. This is fantastic on all counts— but it also means that today, more so than ever, we need to plan for how we’ll care for ourselves in our golden years. And, it’s the reason why long-term care insurance is becoming more and more popular.


Whether you’re wondering when to start your long-term care insurance or you’re reading on behalf of a loved one, this post will help you understand what it is, who should get it, and how it can give you the ultimate peace of mind.

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care (LTC) insurance covers some of the costs of a care facility or a caregiver in your own home following an accident or illness, or as a result of aging or deteriorated mental abilities. It helps ensure that the costs of long-term care don’t impact your retirement income, drain your savings, or become a financial strain on your loved ones.

It pays a benefit amount that helps you and your family cover the costs associated with in-home care, adult day-care programs, and assisted living or long-term care facilities.

What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover?

LTC insurance covers many of the things that your provincial health plan does not, like:

  • Care from a certified nurse
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Personal care and home care services
  • Supervision by another individual

Long-term care policies help cover the cost of care if you’re unable to care for yourself because of declining cognitive or physical abilities. It can also help pay for assistance to manage your daily activities, for things like bathing and dressing. And, if your cognitive condition worsens, it can even cover constant supervision, to protect your health and safety.

Is Long-Term Care Insurance A Good Idea?

Yes, long-term care insurance is a VERY good idea! As you can probably imagine, the costs associated with ongoing, long-term care are quite high. And because most people don’t anticipate having to pay for this type of care in their golden years, many don’t have the money for it.

What Are The Risks Of Not Having Long-term Care Insurance?

Without long-term care insurance, many families are forced to:

  • Deplete their savings to pay for care
  • Put undue financial and emotional strain on family members or friends
  • Go without the care they know their loved ones need

Having long-term care insurance in place lets you rest easy knowing that, should you need additional support or care later in life, you’ll have access to the funding you need to pay for it— without putting yourself or your family at risk financially.

5 Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

From giving you financial security to helping you secure the best possible care, there are so many benefits to long-term care insurance.

#1 Financial Support

Long-term care insurance helps you pay for stays in nursing homes and chronic care facilities, and for rehabilitation and therapy programs not covered by Manitoba health— without impacting savings or loved ones.

#2 Stress-Relief

Long-term care insurance can help relieve some of the financial, emotional, and physical stress that comes with needing care— or loving someone who does.

#3 Quality of Life

Even though you, or your loved one, might want to provide care themselves, it’s important to recognize the emotional, physical, and financial toll that this type of regular caregiving can take. Professional caregivers can improve the quality of life for both the would-be caregiver and the person in need of care.

#4 Less Pressure

Having long-term care insurance in place lets you bring care into your own home, or the home of a loved one, without forcing a decision to downsize or move to a facility before you, or they, are ready. It can also be used to compensate family caregivers for any help they choose to provide.

#5 Peace Of Mind

Long-term care insurance helps you, or your loved one, manage care and expenses in the event of an unanticipated severe accident (at any age) that would leave you, or them, requiring significant assistance from a family or caregiver.

When To Start Long-Term Care Insurance

Start long-term care insurance soon as you possibly can. While it is critical for senior citizens as they age, it’s also completely possible for someone to lose the ability to care for themselves — and have to rely on long-term care insurance — at any time during their lifespan.

How Long-Term Care Insurance Works in Manitoba

Each long-term care insurance plan provides for a benefit amount that’s paid monthly. For some plans, that benefit amount is as much as $10,000 per month.

You can use your benefit to pay for things like home care, adult daycare, costs associated with assisted living or a long-term care facility, or other programs and facilities that provide services like nursing care, personal care, or homemaking services.

Types of Long-Term Care Insurance

There are a number of different long-term care plan types to choose from.

Some plans require you to submit receipts in order to get the payment, up to a non-cumulative monthly maximum. Some provide an income-style benefit that pays a set amount each month, giving you the flexibility to spend your funds however you and your family see fit— as long as it relates to your care. And some have options that protect your benefits against inflation or return premiums to your estate if you pass away before receiving any benefits.

If you’re not sure what type of long-term care insurance is right for you and your family, contact us and we’ll help you decide.

Long-Term Care Insurance FAQs

Answers to the 3 questions most people ask about long-term care insurance.

Is There A Waiting Period For Long-Term Care Insurance?

Yes, but you get to choose your waiting period when purchasing your plan.

Shorter waiting periods (often 90 to 180 days) allow you to access your benefits sooner, whereas longer waiting periods (usually one to two years) make premiums more affordable.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Fit With Critical Illness Insurance?

These are two very distinct insurance products, so their benefits don’t crossover or negate each other in any way.

Long-term care insurance benefits are used to help people who can no longer complete a number of activities of daily living on their own and require assistance on a regular basis. With LTC insurance, benefits are usually received on a regular basis.

Critical illness insurance, on the other hand, offers a one-time lump sum payment for specific diagnoses like heart attack, stroke, or life-threatening cancer.

If you were to suddenly become ill, critical illness insurance would be more helpful. If you were to lose your ability to care for yourself, long-term care insurance would be the better choice. If you like, you can certainly choose to purchase both.

Related: The Value of Critical Illness Insurance

Are There Any Important Considerations For Your Retirement Savings Or Life Insurance?

No, long-term care insurance won’t negatively impact your savings or other insurance policies in any way.

In fact, it’s the opposite. If you could no longer care for yourself (or, if a loved one could no longer care for themselves), having an LTC policy would protect your savings.

How To Get Long-Term Care Insurance in Manitoba

If you live locally in Winnipeg, or anywhere across Manitoba, contact us to get started. Our Insurance Advisor will connect with you and help you decide on the best long-term care insurance policy for you.