Long-term care insurance is used for when you have to go to a nursing home, assisted living facility or even for in-home care. Any of these events can be financially devastating to a family.
As an endorsed local provider (ELP) for Dave Ramsey - we agree with his assessment of the importance of the coverage. Especially when 69% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care at some point in their lives.
I know this first hand with my parents. My dad had coverage and after heart surgery, he had to have in-home care for several months. After he met the waiting period, the policy began to pay for all of the bills he accumulated.
He got healthy enough to no longer need the in-home care and the policy stopped paying, but later on when he had another episode, care was needed again - the policy stepped up and since the waiting period had already been met - it began to pay his bills immediately.
When you should get serious about looking at the coverage?
We recommend age 60 or older is the best time. Yes it is cheaper when your younger than 60, but the likelihood of you needing the coverage is very small. (unless of you have a family history of health problems).
Average nursing home stay is about 2 1/2 years (per survey done by Morningstar). Costs can range greatly - I will tell you from personal experience it is around $4,000 a month for assisted living and $7,500 a month for nursing home stay. At that rate - any nest egg that you might have saved up will vanish.
NOTE: Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care.
For more info on Long-Term Care - Dave Ramsey has a very good post -