What Is an Elimination Period?

An elimination period is the period of time between an injury/illness/disability or claim and the ultimate receipt of benefit payments. Usually associated with long-term care (LTC) insurance and disability insurance, it is often referred to as a "waiting" period or "qualifying" period, and in some insurance policies, the elimination period serves as the deductible. The insured must pay for LTC before benefits will start paying from their policy. It is frequently thought of as a deductible.

The most common elimination period is 90-days, but they may be anywhere from 30 to 365 days. In addition, the inverse relationship between the premium and the elimination period can be significant. The shorter the elimination period, the higher the premium, and vice versa. The differences can be dramatic, especially in the case of LTC insurance, and it is important for the policy holder to consider their ability to pay for care during those stated periods.