OK, an illness or surgery could disqualify you from purchasing long term care insurance. But just to be sure, contact Brian Gordon at 800-633-5242. There are some new combo life/long term care policies that might accept you.
I’m assuming you get your medical insurance at work, and that they do not offer a Health Savings Account that would allow you to defer money pre-tax for future health expenses.
So the only thing you can do is save as much as possible within your retirement plans, get the maximum match, and then keep saving on an after-tax basis so you have a reserve fund for emergencies.