Health: Planning Way Ahead

Long-term-care insurance is a lot cheaper while you're still young. Is it a good bet?

As anybody who gets medical insurance at work already knows, November is "open enrollment" month--your once-a-year chance to switch medical plans. It's also a good time to think about adding an important optional benefit: long-term-care insurance to pay for a nursing home, assisted living or home care when you can no longer fend for yourself. (No, Medicare does not cover these costs.) The Federal Government started offering optional long-term-care policies to its employees last year, and a MetLife study released last December found that 37% of private employers surveyed offered them or planned to do so within 18 months.

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