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All in all, about 33% of all long-term care insurance applicants are turned down for care, a surprisingly large number in a country that calls increasingly for health insurance for everyone.

But that's the case, and it's largely up to the consumer to get approved and cut the best deal with an insurance carrier.

To accomplish that, Slome advises going with a professional who has connections to the best insurers and who knows the ropes.

"Working with an experienced and knowledgeable professional is your best bet," he says. "Ask how long has the insurance agent been selling long-term care insurance. A minimum of three years is suggested, though five or more is going to be better," Slome says. Also, ask how many long-term care policies the agent or adviser has sold -- 100 individual policies or more sold is OK, but 500 sold is the Holy Grail.

Lastly, make sure the insurance professional is "appointed" to sell policies with several insurance companies. "'Appointed' is insurance industry jargon that means they can actually sell that company's policy," Slome says. "At the end of the day, an agent is only going to recommend and tell you about policies they can actually sell."

Posted 12:14 PM  View Comments

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