Q&A: Long-term-care insurance

Dear Liz: I’d appreciate your thoughts about long-term-care insurance programs. Ours has just announced a 52% rate increase with a possible 25% increase next year. Although I realize that none of us can predict the future, are there any guidelines you can suggest for deciding whether, for example, an 80-year-old in good health needs the maximum 10-year coverage or can get by with a three-year coverage period?

Answer: Most people over 65 will need some kind of long-term care, but most need it for less than three years. You may want to err on the side of caution and opt for a longer coverage period if you have a family history of dementia.

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