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Can't disagree with any points previous responders have made. My wife and I have looked at this very carefully in the last couple of years. My father inlaw is in a nursing home and will never be able to leave. We have a close friend who had a stroke. In general I would suggest the following points to keep in mind:

1) There are some situations where having the insurance does not make any economic sense. The areas were it does make sense are for people whose total net worth is somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

At some point of wealth, the income from your assets can pay for nursing home care. That point depends on your age(it is nice but not required to leave an estate) and the cost of care in your part of the country.

People who do not have much money really can't afford adequate insurance. So when the insurance runs out, they (and their spouse) essentially loose it all and Medicade picks up the bill.

2) The vast majority of people will never use (or be eligible to use) their coverage(s). Only a fraction of people get into nursing homes. Over 75% of people going into nursing homes leave in less then 120 days – Medicare pays most of the first 120 days of coverage. After 120 Medicare pays zero.

3) If you feel you want/need coverage, get presentations from at least 3 or 4 different companies. The coverage and qualification differences are great. You can't know what is important to you, if you don't know what is available.

Examples: Some plans cover home health care. Some cover home health care for only the number of days you have been in a hospital. Some have inflation coverage. Some cover physical/occupational/speech therapies. Some pay only bills. Some pay cash so you can use the cash to pay a utility bill for example.

This is insurance and my experience with insurance is quite simple. When I need it, I need it and wish I had more; however I rarely need it and when all is said and done I have paid a lot more in premiums they I have ever gotten back. (counting all my insurances auto, home, life, health, etc.) One thing is “different” for me about long term care insurance. I really won't have the option of getting a job to pay off debts. I could loose it all under worst case conditions. So what have I done – I have decided I am going to die someday and I would rather enjoy my money then enrich the owners of an insurance company in the mean time. Hope that was the right choice.
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