Purchasing long-term care insurance early can be a great way for seniors to deal with nursing home costs

Did you know that Medicare typically doesn't cover nursing home stays or in-home health services? And did you know that nursing home stays can cost more than $100,000 per year in many parts of the U.S.? If you end up needing long-term care services, costs like these can drain your retirement savings quickly.

Long-term care, or LTC, insurance can help protect against these expenses if you or your spouse can no longer perform daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating on your own. However, LTC insurance can be rather costly and isn't right for everybody. Here's a quick introduction to LTC insurance, what it covers and costs, and how you could keep your LTC insurance costs in line.

What is long-term care insurance?

Most health insurance covers things like hospital stays, medical procedures, doctors' office visits, and prescription drugs. However, the cost of long-term services such as nursing home stays is generally not covered. Even Medicare will only cover short stays in nursing homes, or some in-home care, but only under specific conditions.

Long-term care insurance is designed to cover these types of expenses. In addition to nursing home stays, long-term care insurance can cover things like a home health aide to assist with bathing, dressing, or eating. Covered services vary by policy.



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