Dependency insurance: dignity and well-being

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The rise in life expectancy is generating a notable increase in the number of dependent people, in other words, people who need significant help or assistance to carry out daily life activities or who are in a state in which, for reasons linked to the lack or loss of physical, mental or intellectual autonomy, they need assistance and/or significant help in their daily lives.

Increased life expectancy, increased dependency

In Spain, nearly 9 million people are over 65 years of age and, of these, nearly three million have already reached the age of 80. It is estimated that in 2065 there will be more than 14 million people aged over 65, which will represent 34.6% of the total population at that time. How can we deal with situations of dependency in a context of economic uncertainty?

The Dependency Law approved in 2006, was created to provide economic or welfare aid to these people but, logically, its benefits have requirements and limitations that beneficiaries must meet. As in many other areas, the insurance sector, through long-term care insurance, offers a supplementary alternative to social benefits for situations of dependency.

Financial payment or provision of services

This type of insurance guarantees an indemnity in the form of monthly income, the receipt of a capital sum, or the cost of providing a service. In the latter case, the provision of a service may cover expenses for a place in a nursing home attended by the insured for a number of days per year or home help services such as personal care services. It may also involve remote care services, meaning those that help elderly or disabled people living alone and through which they benefit from communication, self-reliance and security in situations of need, thanks to a device that contacts a service that then provides all the necessary assistance.

One of the requirements for access to these public benefits is that the situation of dependency must be recognized by the corresponding Autonomous Community, which is sometimes subject to delays. Another added value offered by some insurers is that their customers can receive the cover from their dependency policies simply by being assessed by a specialist from the company, without having to wait for official recognition of their dependency status.

When taking out one of these private long-term care insurance policies, the insurers may ask the insured to complete a health questionnaire in order to assess the specific coverage that can be offered. They may sometimes exclude benefits that would be a direct consequence of illnesses that the insured suffered prior to taking out the insurance policy.

In this way, insurers can design responses tailored to the particular situation of each dependent person, ensuring their quality of life, the care they need, and their dignity and well-being.

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