I already have health insurance. Why do I need long-term care insurance?
Health insurance only pays for acute - as opposed to chronic - medical care; i.e., care that is intended to restore your health. When it is determined that you have recovered as much as possible from an injury or illness, and that further medical care will not further restore your health, health insurance benefits will cease. Most health insurance plans do not pay for LTC. Some provide a small benefit for skilled care services (restorative in nature), but not for custodial care.
Long-term care insurance benefits, on the other hand, cover chronic needs for care that do not necessarily require professional services. For example, a person who has been injured in an accident or a stroke victim may require assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, and eating. Such individuals will likely require physical or supervisory assistance for an extended period of time. However, because this type of care is not considered skilled medical care, and because it is not restorative in nature, it generally is not covered by health insurance.