ASK AN EXPERT
Q: I’m not sure if I need Long Term Care insurance, or what kind I should get. How much does it cost, and what do you recommend?
A: I’m glad you asked because many people think that long term care insurance is only for the elderly, yet according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “Forty (40) percent of people currently receiving long-term care are adults 18 to 64 years old.” (www.longtermcare.gov)
It’s also important to know the factors that increase one’s risk of needing Long-Term Care:
- Age: The risk generally increases as you get older.
- Marital Status: Single people are more likely to need care from a paid provider.
- Gender: Women are at a higher risk, primarily because they tend to live longer.
- Lifestyle: Poor diet and lack of exercise can increase your risk.
- Health and Family History: Your general health, genetics, and learned habits can also have a big impact
Long Term Care can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and is not covered by health insurance, including Medicare! While some individuals can afford to risk paying six figures out of pocket, it generally makes more sense to leverage your current assets “just in case.” Let’s look at three options:
Traditional Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi)
Under this coverage, monthly premiums are based upon your age, gender, health status, where you live, the amount of daily benefit you wish to receive ($100, $110, $120, etc.), the amount of time you wish to receive that benefit (one year, two years, three years, etc.), the elimination period (which is like a deductible — it equals the number of days you are willing to pay out of pocket before the coverage begins: 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, etc.), and other factors. Discounts for spouses and annual payments are possible. Average cost is $200 to $500 per month.
In-Home Service Plans
These plans are not insurance policies, they are service contracts. They serve as a supplement to, or an alternative to, traditional Long Term Care insurance. Some LTCi policies only pay for service in a nursing home or similar facility, and some policies have a very long elimination period. With an In-Home Service Plan, a person can receive non-medical assistance in their own home for an extended period of time and then utilize their LTCi policy. Services include assistance with dressing, bathing, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, medication reminders, accompaniment to doctor’s appointments, and more.
With an In-Home Service Plan, there are no deductibles, no co-pays, no claim forms, no underwriting, and no age limits. But you must acquire the plan before you need it, then keep it current. The company we use offers spousal discounts, annual payment discounts, and/or will lower monthly payments by 10% each year the plan is kept but unused (up to a 40% discount). Wouldn’t it be nice to see at least one bill go down each year? Monthly payments, before any discounts, start at just $95 for Bronze level up to $475 for Platinum.
EXAMPLE #3 – Zero Cost Long Term Care®
A Zero Cost Long Term Care plan allows a person to leverage his or her current savings in a CD, old annuity, 401k, IRA, etc. (which offer no additional monies for long term care) by simply moving a portion of those funds into either a new annuity or life insurance policy that will provide additional funds if Long Term Care is ever needed.
Policies vary; however, it is not uncommon to earn higher interest rates and still double one’s money for Long Term Care. In some cases, a person may create a benefit of 300%, 400%, 500%, even 600%! Where can you get that kind of return on your money guaranteed in writing? Some policies also offer a money-back guarantee. This is a brilliant way to pay for professional care without paying monthly premiums for LTCi.
PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive compensation or reimbursement, all plans require verification that a policy holder is unable to perform two of the six activities of daily living (ADLs): bathing, dressing, eating, continence, toileting, and transferring.
HESED INSURANCE SOLUTIONS offers all of the above plans to CAP members nationwide. Plans and companies vary by state. Visit HesedInsuranceSolutions.com to learn more, or call 1-800-9-800-342 to discuss your options with a licensed agent.
(Zero Cost Long Term Care® is a trademark of Mr. Mark Dice, used with permission)