As more people consider retiring abroad- questions arise about how an overseas retirement will affect long-term care insurance benefits. If you are planning to relocate out of the country and would like to purchase or already have long-term care insurance- the best advice is to read the fine print on your policy.
Not all long-term care insurance policies cover care in other countries- and even if care is covered- the benefits are often more limited. Some companies will pay benefits overseas- but for a lesser amount than if you are receiving care in the United States. For example- one insurer may pay up to 50 percent of the nursing home benefit purchased for care received outside the United States. Other companies may provide full benefits- but for a limited time (for example- one year). Once you reach the limit- you may have to move back to the U.S. to continue your remaining coverage. Some companies limit both the benefit and the time covered- or they may cover you only if you relocate to an English-speaking country.
To find out whether your policy covers long-term care in other countries- first look at the exclusions. Next- look for a section called “international benefits” or “out of country coverage.” If your policy does limit care overseas- you shouldn’t cancel it immediately because it can be hard to obtain coverage again. Talk to your insurance agent- attorney or financial advisor first. Instead of cancelling- it may make sense to lower your premium by reducing your benefits.
For more information, see what to consider before moving to another country.