The decision to purchase long-term care insurance is a very important financial decision that should not be rushed. Resources available to assist you in making this decision include: the "Shopper's Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance"* and the State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program*.
For more detailed information, a copy of the Shopper's Guide or information on how to reach a State Health Insurance counselor, please contact the Insurance Department at 1-800-247-0560 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*State regulations require that you receive the Shopper's Guide and written notice of the SHIC program when you are offered a long-term care policy.
Long-term care can range from simple help with daily activities at home to highly skilled nursing care in a nursing home.
Long-term care can be expensive depending on the amount and type of care needed and the setting in which it is provided. The average cost for a year in a nursing home in North Dakota is more than $71,000.
Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people over 65 and some disabled people, covers nursing home care only under extremely limited circumstances. DO NOT DEPEND ON MEDICARE TO PAY FOR ANY NURSING HOME CARE.
Four things to consider before you buy:
- Do I have enough income to pay my own way without insurance?
- Is it reasonable to spend my own money, delete my assets and then apply for Medicaid?
- Is there any reason to preserve my assets for heirs?
- Do I have enough income to pay a portion of the nursing home costs and then rely on a small long- term care policy for the remainder?
- Take your time and compare several policies before buying. You may want to check with several companies and agents. (Some agents may sell for more than one company).
- Ask questions and be sure you understand what the policy covers and when.
- When you receive the policy READ IT CAREFULLY to be sure you understand all the terms and conditions. What is written in the policy is what will determine the benefits you receive. From the time you receive the policy you have 30 days to review it and return it for any reason and
for a full refund of premium paid. If you return a policy, return it to the company, not the agent.
- Always pay by check (not cash) payable to the company.
- Do not submit to high pressure tactics.
- Don't buy more than one policy. If you have a policy and feel you need more coverage, check to see if the company will allow you to increase your coverage.
- Be sure you get the agent's name, address and telephone number.
- Be sure the insurance company's product is approved for sale in ND. Call 1.800.247.0560 for company licensing and rating information or email us at email@example.com .
House Bill 1209 was passed during the 2009 legislative session. The bill provides a tax credit up to $250 for individuals paying premiums on a partnership-qualified long-term care insurance plan purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2007. The credit is effective for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2008.
The tax credit appears on line 16 of Schedule ND-1TC. You are allowed a tax credit for premiums you pay for a partnership plan long-term care insurance policy that covers you or your spouse, or both. To qualify, you must be a North Dakota resident at the time you pay the premiums.
A partnership plan policy is a special type of long-term care insurance policy that:
- Meets specific consumer protection and federal income tax law requirements,
- Is recognized by North Dakota for Medicaid benefit purposes, and
- Provides the proper inflation protection based on the insured individual's age at time of purchase.
Important. There are long-term care insurance policies that ARE NOT partnership plan policies for which the premiums are not eligible for this credit. Therefore, you must check your policy or contact your insurance company to confirm that it is a partnership plan policy.
The credit is equal to the premiums you paid during the tax year, up to a maximum credit of $250 (or $500, if both you and your spouse are insured by the policy).
For more information, contact the Office of the State Tax Commissioner at 701-328-7088.