"It's completely up to the company," she says. "I've had situations where companies have refused to pay under that benefit."
Alternative plan of care clauses may be increasingly important. In the past decade, the average age at which people buy a long-term care insurance policy has decreased from 68 to 59, according to a survey by America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.
When considering a policy, people have to ask themselves: “What’s the long-term care landscape going to look like in 20 years?” says Burns. An alternative plan of care clause may help provide some sense of security, but it’s no panacea.
This article was produced by Kaiser Health News with support from The SCAN Foundation.