The Elimination Period

Last updated: March 29, 2016

When Benefits Begin

You must choose an "elimination period", or a "waiting period". This determines when your policy begins paying benefits once you've qualified for benefits and have entered a nursing home or begin to use home services. During this elimination period, you will be responsible for paying all costs out-of-pocket. 

  • The most common options available are for benefits to start at 20, 30, 60, 90 or 100 days after you qualify for benefits and enter a nursing home or begin to receive home services. Some policies may have a longer waiting period. 
  • For example, if you choose a plan with a 30-day elimination period, your policy begins paying benefits on the 31st day after you qualify for benefits. You will be financially responsible for the first 30 days. 

In choosing an elimination period, keep in mind: the shorter the elimination period, the higher your premium. The longer you can wait for the benefits to begin, the lower your premium costs. You are responsible for all costs of long-term care during the elimination period. 

  • For example, if you buy a policy with a 90-day elimination period, you will be responsible for the cost of your first 90 days in the nursing home. If the nursing home costs $70 per day, you will pay $6,300 before the policy will begin to pay. If you leave the nursing home before the 90 days are up, the policy will pay nothing. 

If you must re-enter a nursing home facility within 6 months of your first stay, you won't have to repeat the elimination period. However, if you are re-admitted to a nursing home more than six months after your first stay, you must fulfill another elimination period before the policy will begin paying again.

This article is published on KansasMoney.gov. Find more information by contacting these state agencies: