Long Term Care Insurance

The RIGHT Way to Approach Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI)- 6 Steps to Guide you in Planning

 

  • Consider it when you are fairly young 
    • Premiums are lower - you pay more years, but at a lower premium, costing you less over all.
    • It isn't just for old people! - 40% of the 12 million people in LTC today are working age; the average age is just 66 (1)
    • Younger often means healthier - you lock in your good health by applying, and you might even lock in an extra good health discount.
    • Plans will never be as comprehensive or provide as much benefit value for premium dollar as they do today.

 

 

  • Determine if it is appropriate for you
    • Insurance may be appropriate if (any or all) 1. You have at least $75,000 in savings or investments 2. You will retire with a monthly pension 3. You prefer to remain in your home 4. You worry about burdening your spouse or kids. 5. You don't have a spouse or kids
      6. You worry about outliving your savings 7. You have non-liquid assets and may depend on the income that they generate 8. You are in good health.
    • Insurance may NOT be appropriate if: 1. You have less than $75,000 in savings or investments 2. You are in poor health

 

  • Work with an independent, impartial expert
    • It can be difficult to medically qualify - an independent agent specializing in LTC will have a selection of carriers. Generally you want to be with the carrier with the most discriminating health standard that your profile permits; a Specialist will research and guide you.
    • Carriers have unique features - an independent agent specializing in LTC can match you up with the carrier best suited to your needs.
    • There is a lot to know - independent LTC Specialists wear only one hat, and keep up with this quickly evolving market.
    • You will need an advocate - Claim time can be emotionally draining, a Specialist has the expertise to ease your load.
    • There is no additional cost for an expert - everyone quotes from the same software
    • YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE - why meet with multiple individuals who may be financially motivated to push one carrier?

 

Proper Plan Design 

  • Don't cookie cutter your plan  - You have a unique financial and family situation - design a plan that fits your needs
  • Focus on home care - more than 70% of claims are for home care. If you've planned well for retirement then your fixed retirement income should be adequate for maintaining your lifestyle while living in your home, but unplanned LTC expenses could jeopardize this. 
  • Consider inflation adjustment - the cost of care will rise, so should your benefits.
  • Consider your family history - a Specialist will have national statistics to guide you if you don't have your own family statistics to use in determining appropriate levels of benefits.

 

Don't over insure

  • Trade a catastrophic risk in for a budgetable one - determine the financial risk that would be catastrophic to your goals and to your family and transfer this part over to the insurance company. 


Keep the premiums comfortable

  • Any level of benefit will be helpful 
  • Premiums shouldn't create undue financial stress - if you have to give up your daily Starbucks, no problem, but if you have to modify your food budget to pay your premium, you have too much benefit. Work with your Specialist to make it more comfortable.  

WHY PLAN FOR LONG TERM CARE (LTC)?

 


If you live to age 65 there is a 70% chance that you will need LTC at some point; 50% of those who live to age 85 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s*

An informed consumer is more likely to retain control over where and how LTC services are provided, and over the allocation of assets and estate.

Fear of aging and its associated problems leads to denial, and denial prevents people from assessing their probable long-term care needs and taking action to address those needs. Benjamin Franklin had it right, “if you fail to plan, then your plan is to fail”.
 

Planning ahead:

  • helps one understand the available LTC services, eligibility criteria, cost, and public and private payment options. 
  • forces a person to face the fact that the cost of long-term care services often exceeds what the average person can pay from income and other personal resources, which can cause a wholesale reallocation of a lifetime’s work.
  • can preserve real estate, liquid assets and income for uses other than long-term care, including preserving the quality of life for a spouse or other loved ones. 
  • Can lessen the financial, emotional and even physical stress on family members 
  • ensures greater independence and choice

Partnership Programs:

  • partner up private LTC insurance with the Medicaid spenddown, possibly allowing individuals to protect family legacies
  • encourage individuals from a wider economic bracket to purchase an appropriate, and more affordable, level of insurance.
  • Are available in 42 states through Partnership certified agents

View An Important Video About Long Term Care Insurance

Watch this very important televised video about the benefits of Long Term Care Insurance. 

Watch Video

Gabrielle Gelo

 

M. Gabrielle Gelo, CLTC

Insurance agent specializing in 

Long Term Care Planning

Partnership Certified

210-592-9887

gabrielle.gelo@acsiapartners.com