Question: What types of nursing care does long-term care insurance cover?
Answer :

It depends on the policy. Long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies define three levels of long-term care. Because some LTCI policies pay for only certain forms of care, it's important to understand these definitions:

  • Skilled care: Continuous round-the-clock care designed to treat a medical condition; it's ordered by a doctor and administered by skilled medical workers (e.g., registered nurses, professional therapists) as part of an established treatment plan
  • Intermediate care: Intermittent nursing and rehabilitative care provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse's aides under a doctor's supervision
  • Custodial care: Care designed to help the patient perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, or eating; it can be provided by someone without professional medical skills, but it's supervised by a doctor

Most LTCI policies cover skilled, intermediate, and custodial care in licensed nursing homes. Some of these policies may limit or exclude additional settings for long-term care (e.g., home health care, assisted-living facilities). To find out what type of care your LTCI policy covers and what facilities are approved to provide the care, be sure to read your policy carefully.