In general, can long term care insurance be stopped then started again if needed?

Asked by

My mom is receiving benefits from her long term care insurance while residing at assisted living. She seems to have improved enough to move to independent living. Dad lives with her in a tiny 425 sq. foot apartment & he is miserable. Because they are mentally intact, their only friends are the staff. The other residents are much more frail & "out of it." I'm tempted to move them to an independent living facility to hopefully improve their quality of life. I know that the LTC benefits would stop & we would have to start paying premiums again. But if she deteriorates again & needs a higher level of care, can benefits be reinstated? I cannot find any information about this in the policy or it's there but written in such a convoluted manner that I can't understand it. I don't want to call the company as I think that would be "sending up a flare" & key them into scrutinizing her case more closely & causing me to have to jump thru more hoops than I already have.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
Oftentimes, yes. However, have an attorney read your contract before making final decisions.
If you move them to independent living, look for a facility that offers a-la-carte assistance from an independent agency that has at least one person ON-SITE. It makes such a difference. Since the agency person is handy, they invoice in small increments, so it's feasible to have someone stop by to help with bathing, retrieve the book that fell behind the sofa, change the sheets that got soaked last night, etc. Not many independent care facilities follow this model, so you may have to look around.
Jjariz - that's exactly the model of the IL they're considering. I have other questions now & will contact an attorney. Thanks. Other comments are welcome.
Long-term care insurance benefits can be stopped and then started again as long as your mother has not exhausted the benefits.
Check your policy for the terms (or check with an attorney to review the terms for you), but most LTC policies allow you to stop and start the benefit period, as the others have noted.

I'm a legal professional at a financial company - we do offer LTC riders and stand-alone products. All of our products allow a policy owner (or their POA) to stop the benefit and reapply at a later time. I'm the POA for my mother-in-law, and her policy has the same benefit as well. Many companies use the Interstate Compact to make their insurance policy filings (including LTC) and this provision is quite standard.

Glad you are going to have someone review the policy, and verify you can go off benefit for the time being and go back onto benefit when needed.
Thank-you for the feedback.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support