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pay for. These are generally described as a percentage of the daily maximum for skilled nursing home care. In-home care can have 100 percent of the daily maximum, 75 percent, 50 percent, or some other percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher the pre- mium will be.

Policies will also offer some inflation protection. Since $100 will purchase more today than it will in 10 years, you don’t want to be stuck with a policy that doesn’t account for some type of inflation. Here you have two different choices for your inflation protection. First, you can choose to have no protection. Or, you can choose to have a set percentage added to your daily benefit every year, which is usually set at 5 percent. This is in the hopes that your coverage will then keep pace with the rising costs of nursing home and in-home care costs. Of course, since there is an added benefit, there will be an added premium amount for it. Weigh the pros and cons of purchasing inflation protection because it can add anywhere from 25 to 40 per- cent onto your premium amount.

While no one wants to use their long-term care insurance, in the event that you do, you will be subject to a waiting period before the benefits begin to kick in. You choose your elimination period, just as you do with disability insurance. It can be as few as 20 days, or you can wait up to 90 days before benefits begin. The longer your elimination period, the less your premium. Most policies allow you to have only one elimination period. Therefore, if you opt for a 90- day elimination period and you need care for 100 days, you will receive benefits for 10 days. But, if you need care again, the entire time will be covered and you won’t have to wait the 90 days again. Also, once you begin to use your policy (after the elimination period), your insurance company will waive your premiums. This ensures that you aren’t paying for your policy at the same time you are receiving benefits.

Long-term care policies also offer renewability clauses. A guar- anteed renewability clause assures you that you will have continued coverage for your entire life, as long as you continue to pay the pre- miums. This doesn’t mean that your premiums will remain at the same level, though. The insurer retains the right to raise premiums

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