While some individuals and their families are able to afford over the time the immense costs associated with long term care, the spiraling cost of long term care will swallow up the savings of all but the wealthiest of families in a matter of years. Those who have planned ahead, including the purchase of long term care insurance, will have a greater degree of certainty, protection, and peace of mind, with the knowledge and the structure that a well-devised plan provides. With long term care insurance in place, they know that they reduced (but may not have eliminated entirely) the need to have to tap into hard earned savings in order to meet the cost of their future care. Many individuals, however, are unable to obtain long term care insurance, due to age or a pre-existing medical condition or diagnosis or because they simply cannot afford to purchase the coverage to begin with or the annual premiums to maintain the coverage over time. If individuals do have long term insurance, they are well advised to know what their policy covers in terms of type or level of care, the time period before the policy will begin to pay out benefits, the amount of benefits payable on a monthly basis, and the conditions under which a claim can be filed and benefits actually paid out. Many traditional long term care insurance policies can have high deductibles or may only provide for a short period of coverage in a facility, including a nursing home. Many individuals who have long term insurance may yet need to consider the use of Medicaid benefits in order to meet the high cost of their care, specifically care provided in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility.