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What Is The Cognitive Test
For Long Term Care Insurance?


For many people searching for long term care insurance, they need to have the question “What is the cognitive test for long term care insurance?” answered before they can move on to even asking for quotes.


If you have a history of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in your family, you know that this type of impairment often requires long term care, even though the person is still physically able to perform many activities of daily living. This requires a different than usual type of evaluation to determine whether or not you qualify for your long term care insurance to kick in and cover your health care costs.


Before paying out benefits for long term care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, tests must be performed to gauge the level of cognitive or mental impairment. If you are found to be mentally incapacitated according to the long term care insurance company’s cognitive test then your coverage would take effect. Such tests are multi-faceted and supposedly standardized, but may be interpreted and analyzed by someone outside the medical field.


Long Term Care Insurance
Test Components


The cognitive test for long term care insurance reviews numerous facts to determine if you are indeed incapacitated enough to warrant the pay out of benefits. First, experts question whether you need supervision and verbal reminders for normal activities. If you are deemed to be at risk to do yourself harm or to do others harm, without such reminders, it is an extremely significant indicator of cognitive impairment.


Another “test” of mental incapacity for long term care insurance purposes is whether you have been diagnosed by a medical doctor as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia. Having been diagnosed with either indicates that you have already had a series of cognitive tests, which indicated impairment. It also validates any claims of cognitive impairment, especially if your doctor has documented ongoing deterioration.


Many advisors recommend choosing insurance companies that allow your doctor to determine when you are eligible for long term care. Without such a clause, it may be an insurance provider paid nurse or a lay person, also known as a care coordinator, who decides when and if you are eligible to receive the benefits of your policy.


In addition, most long term care insurance companies require additional testing to prove that you are indeed mentally impaired and to measure the degree to which you are impaired. You will be tested to determine if your long-term or short-term memory has been affected.


You will also be asked the standard questions that most nurses and doctors use on a daily basis to detect if hospitalized patients are lucid or not. These are simple questions, such as “What is your name?”, “Where are you?” and “What day or date is it today?” If these basic questions about your orientation of person, place and time are answered incorrectly or you are unable to answer, it is quite telling. In addition, tests are administered to determine if your reasoning capacities, both deductive and abstract, have been compromised.


What To Look For In A Long Term
Care Insurance Policy


It is very important that anyone looking to purchase long term care insurance be sure that the policy they are planning to buy includes cognitive impairment as a trigger for benefits to commence and that the policy does not require hospitalization prior to benefits pay out. If you were to enter into such a policy and suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, it would make it very hard to make claims against your policy.


Quite often, people with these cognitive issues are extremely healthy otherwise. They require no hospitalization of any kind and can independently do all of the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, eating, dressing, personal hygiene, transferring from one place to another and maintaining continence tasks. Needing assistance with two or more of these is the standard in when long term care benefits begin to be effective. However, patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s may need more supervisory care long before needing help with any of the above activities.


In addition, it is important to make sure that your policy would cover home health care, assisted living or nursing homes. Someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia may need long term care in either or all three types of environments.


The ideal policy should also consider expenses to modify your home, special medical equipment for the home and safety devices as eligible expenses. Quite often, modifications to your home would make it a much safer place to remain if you suffer from cognitive deficiencies. Being at home for care as long as possible is often in the best interest of all involved. Answers to questions such as “What is the cognitive test for long term care?” equip you aptly to find the right coverage fit for you.


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