Long Term Care Insurance Elimination Period
Elimination periods (EP) are one of the most misunderstood policy provisions in Long Term Care insurance. Basically, the elimination period is a deductible/waiting period from the point of claim to when the policy actually pays out benefits. The choices range from first day coverage (0 day elimination) all the way to 365 day elimination (max of 180 in FL) or even more with some types of specialty niche products.
Common Elimination Period Options
One of the most common choices in the market today is when a company offers a split elimination period where you have, for example, a 90 day elimination period or deductible in a facility and a zero day EP for home care. Many of the policies will credit the days you are at home receiving care towards the facility elimination period. Elimination periods for nursing homes and home care may be different or your elimination period may apply for all services. Since most people at least try to receive care at home before ever going into a facility, this is a very attractive choice.
Elimination Period Calculations
Long term care insurance polices can calculate the elimination period using either calendar days or by counting only days you received service. If every day is counted, your elimination period will end sooner. If only days you get care are counted, it will take longer for you to get your benefits and you may pay more out of pocket. For a shorter elimination period, your LTCi policy premium will be more expensive.
In addition, look for a policy that has a once in a lifetime elimination period. This has become very common in most of the newer contracts so don't buy one without it.