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If you have ever signed up for health care insurance, you know that most policies have what is called a "waiting period." The waiting period is usually a month to three months during which you are not eligible to receive benefits even though you are enrolled in the plan. Long-term care insurance plans have something similar known as the elimination period. The elimination period is the period of time which is usually anywhere from 20 to 100 days, and during which you are not eligible to receive daily benefit payments. Some insurance plan providers specify the duration of the elimination period from the beginning. Other plans will let you choose the duration yourself. In those instances, longer durations usually bear lower premiums, and shorter durations bear higher premiums. Some insurers offer a day-one benefit option that allows you to avoid the elimination period altogether. When you compare long term health insurance plans, make sure you ask each company whether the elimination period is once in a lifetime or whether it can repeat.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|