Long-term care insurance policies typically include a deductible, known as an “elimination period,” which may consist of 20, 60, or 90 days. However long it is, it’s important for policyholders to know how their insurer counts those days. Some policies use “calendar” days and pay for services after a claim is filed or after the doctor or company certifies that the policyholder has a covered disability. Other insurance plans concentrate on “service days,” which are limited to the days that the policyholder pays for a home health aide. Thus, if the caregiver only visits three days per week, the insurer will only count those visits toward the 60-day waiting period. Some policies will waive the elimination period for home healthcare.
NOTE: Regardless of the specifics of a long-term care policy’s elimination period, it is important to file a claim at the first sign of a problem.