Long-term care insurance is a policy designed to cover at least some of your expenses if you have a chronic but not life-threatening illness, long-term disability, or you are unable to live independently because you can't perform a number of the activities of daily living.
Those activities typically include bathing, dressing, feeding yourself, taking medication, using the bathroom, and being able to move from a sitting to a standing position. Contracts may also cover cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Under the terms of most long-term care contracts, you can be cared for in a nursing home, assisted living or at home. The insurance pays for custodial rather than skilled care, which must be provided by licensed professionals. Skilled care is covered in part by Medicare
Every policy provides a specific daily or monthly benefit for up to a predetermined benefit period. Each policy also has an elimination period, which lasts from the day you become eligible until the day the insurer begins to pay. You generally can choose the benefit, benefit period, and elimination period that makes the most sense to you and that you can afford.