While carriers are doing what they can to make long term care insurance policies easier to understand and buy, it still can be a daunting process for consumers who don’t deal with the product every day.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a guide for consumers looking into LTCI, “A Shoppers Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance.” The guide advises consumers that the earlier they buy LTCI the more affordable it is, and it makes the case that without LTCI people’s assets can be drained by a not-too-long stay in a nursing home or by care at home.

NAIC tells consumers their LTCI policies should include the following:

  • An outline of coverage that clearly describes in detail the policy’s benefits, terms and limitations.
  • The right to cancel the policy for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
  • An inflation protection option that doesn’t require further evidence of insurability down the road.
  • A description of the elimination period, specifying the number of days that must be spent in claim status before coverage takes effect.
  • A guarantee the policy cannot be canceled or terminated due to age or physical or mental health condition.
  • At least one year of nursing home or home health care coverage, or both, including intermediate and custodial care.

Some advisors may require more than that, even, but that is what NAIC recommends to consumers who visit its Web site.