Long Term Care insurance (LTCi) has come a long way since I started offering “Nursing Home Insurance” 40 years ago. The plans have changed dramatically over the years but the primary reason for having the coverage has not changed – “Love and Independence.” Why would a couple take valuable income and apply it to a LTCi policy? Why would a single person purchase the coverage? It comes down to loving your spouse or family and not wanting them to suffer financially and also allowing you the independence to search out the best location for your needs – many times the best location is in your home! I do not believe there is any worse agony then being in a Nursing Home and seeing the assets you have accumulated over a lifetime disappear. Yes, Love and Independence are very important and we hope to help you protect both!
What is LTCi? This insurance product has evolved rather quickly as it relates to other types of insurance. The life and health insurance industry developed this type of coverage knowing that the need was there to help pay for Nursing Home related expenses. Between “mandated” benefits and competition, the plans have evolved to provide you valuable benefits on a wide range of health needs. This is insurance coverage designed to provide benefits if you have certain problems that result in physical or cognitive impairments – things that generally prevent you from performing normal daily activities such as bathing, continence, transferring, toileting, eating and dressing – generally referred to as “ADL’s” (activities of daily living). ADL’s are the things we normally do in daily living that we perform for our own self care. You are also eligible for benefits if you are certified to need continual supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment.
It is very difficult to cover all the benefits that are available with the different carriers. Generally the benefits that are primary are expenses you incur if you are in a skilled, intermediate or custodial care situation. I will say that many of the additional benefits are designed to help keep you out of the Nursing Home. Some benefits can actually help pay for basic modifications to your home, or even help train a family member or friend to provide care for you in your home, all designed to help maintain your dignity, independence and quality of life. Simply put, there are too many benefits to explain on this simple introductory web page!
I have heard two primary objections to purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance:
- “It seems the carriers are always increasing the rates” Long-Term Care insurance is fairly new, as it relates to insurance protection. The plans started out 40+ years ago and the industry had very, very little information about the claims history. The industry recognized the need for this type of protection and started with “Nursing Home Insurance”. Basically you had to be in the hospital 3 days in order to qualify for a very limited benefit and no Home Health Care! Between competition and pressure from various sources, carriers started to add more and more benefits with little additional claims history. One thing that caught the industry by suprise was that, in many cases, when a person went to the Nursing Home they actually lived much longer than expected! This could be due to the quality of services they recieved and their social interactions with others residents! Carriers that are still in the marketplace have made many changes in benefits, based on consumer demands and industry requirements. These changes caused rate adjustments over the years and, hopefully, will help stabilize rates.
- “What if I never use the coverage?” First, you should be very pleased that your health was good! With a policy rider, that you can add to your basic coverage, you can have a large percentage of your premium payments refunded if you terminate the coverage. With a different policy rider you can have all the premium you paid, less claims paid, refunded when you die.
Traditional Long-Term Care benefits are generally protected under a Partnership Program and the premium can be paid with Health Savings Account (HSA) funds!
According to the US Administration on Aging, 70% of people turning 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lives. Long Term Care insurance can help protect your assets!
If you are interested in additional information please email or call me and we can discuss!