Articles Posted in Long-Term Care Insurance

8.16.16We hope to enjoy out golden years, relaxing after decades of working and raising children. However, as we age, the likelihood of experiencing health issue increase. That includes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Learning that a loved one has Alzheimer’s or other diseases that require a great deal of health care is devastating to the individual and their families. The progressive nature of these diseases means that while the person doesn’t need intensive health care yet, eventually they will. According to an article from Newsmax, “5 Insurance Steps After Alzheimer's Strikes Loved One,” the planning for care needs to start immediately.

Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts that 44 million individuals worldwide have Alzheimer’s or a similar form of dementia, and 25% of those living with it never receive a diagnosis. Healthcare, including assisted living, memory care and in-home care is expensive. Health insurance is an important component of managing the ongoing expenses of living with Alzheimer’s.

6.17.19If a couple is thinking that they can sell the long-term care portion of a policy, because their HMO will cover the cost of long-term or skilled nursing care, they need to think again.

All too often, people think that they have found a simple solution to a complicated problem, and then it turns out that it doesn’t work the way they thought it would. To prevent an expensive mistake, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney, before making an expensive mistake.

While there is a market to sell life insurance through what is known as a life settlement, there’s no market for long-term care policies.

3.13.18If you haven’t been saving for retirement, maybe you’ll do better if you are focused on saving for assisted living. One well known survey, 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, reports that you’ll need $1,517 a month for adult day health care. Those fees are only going in one direction—up!

Adult health day care is not inexpensive in our country. If all you need is adult day health care, consider yourself lucky. It’s a bargain at more than $1500 a month, compared to $3,750 for an assisted living facility, $3,994 for home care services, and $4,099 for home health aides.

If you want some privacy, the median cost is $7,148 for a semiprivate room at a nursing home and $8,121 for a private room. Will you be able afford it? Wealth Advisor poses this question in its recent article, “Have Clients Planned For Long-Term Care?”

The cost of long-term care insurance may not be cheap, but the cost of long-term care is extremely expensive, and is only moving higher.

Long-term care insurance is costly, but health care costs for seniors who need long-term care could easily undo decades of retirement planning. Here’s what you need to know about the costs and benefits of long-term care insurance.

The Chicago Tribune’s recent article, “Thinking of buying long-term care insurance? Consider these costs,” reports that a 2015 cost of care survey from insurance company Genworth Financial estimated the national median cost of care for a home health aide to be almost $46,000 annually, while the national median cost for a private nursing room home is more than $91,000 annually.

2.8.17You might think that any doctor seeing patients over a certain age would automatically screen for Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases, but until now that has not been the case.

Starting in January, Medicare will now begin reimbursing doctors for screening and providing information about care planning for patients with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment diseases. What seems like common sense public health policy, took many years of advocacy from patient groups.

Santa Cruz Sentinel’s recent article, “Diagnosing Alzheimer’s: Medicare now pays doctors to stop and assess memory loss,” reports that more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050.  The cost of caring for those with the disease and other types of dementia is also skyrocketing. In the U.S., it’s estimated to total $236 billion in 2016 and is anticipated to increase to $1.1 trillion by 2050.

12.1.16Incapacity might be harder for some people to imagine than death. They can’t wrap their thoughts around the idea of being alive yet unable to function.

Making decisions for how you want to be cared for while you are still able to choose, is a gift to yourself and your loved ones. If you are not able to convey how much intervention you want, or if you want no care at all, your children and medical professionals will have to make the decision for you. According to Barron’s in “Three End-of-Life Estate Plan Lessons,” not planning for incapacity creates a heartbreaking situation for your heirs and could also undo a great deal of your estate plan.

Let’s look at some important lessons about incapacity planning:

9.2.16Having an emergency fund in place will help you deal with the unexpected. Surprising survey results point to this as a very weak link in many Americans’ financial plans.

Seniors who have finally reached retirement age after decades of work and smart planning may think they are all set once their nest egg is funded. But that nest egg needs to be protected by an emergency fund—something which most Americans seem to have forgotten during their retirement planning.

Fox Business’ recent article, “What Nest Egg? Two-Thirds of Americans Can't Cover $1,000 Emergency,” talks about the importance of maintaining an emergency fund so you don’t take withdrawals from your retirement accounts.

8.15.16The cost of long-term care can take a huge bite out of retirement savings, exhaust family resources and create strain on relationships. Don’t count on Medicare, but do plan in advance.

At least seven out of ten Americans age 65 and over will need long-term care at some point. Most people simply underestimate the cost of long-term care, or they think that Medicaid will cover the costs. Your best defense against long-term care costs: advance planning with professional help.

The Memphis Daily News article, “Long-Term Care – Not for Everyone,” says that Medicare does little for these costs and only for a short time period. Medicaid doesn’t apply until the assets of an estate are spent down, so many people must pay for these costs out-of-pocket. The article says that there are only two ways to address these expenses: with your investment/retirement portfolio and with long-term care insurance. Most people review the cost of long-term care insurance and elect to roll the dice, but when that first round of expenses hits, they probably will wish they’d bought it long ago. Now it’s usually too late to buy it. If you can afford to self-insure, you can save your estate and yourself some serious money.

Hand with cashNursing home and other long-term care expenses can be a financial burden for most families. And although long-term care insurance policies can help offset those expenses, LTC premiums are on the rise and can be quite costly. It can take careful planning to determine if LTC premiums can be paid for, without dipping into retirement funds.

When people purchased their policies 10 to 15 years ago, nursing home costs were about $150 or $200 a day. In some parts of the county, today’s costs can exceed $400 a day, or $12,000 per month for higher levels of care.

The expense incurred by the insured going on claim has caused the long-term care insurance industry to downsize. Those companies still offering policies are bumping up the premiums amid the rising cost of long-term care.

CalendarIn the meantime, cases like this demonstrate anew how vigilant families need to be. If your older relative has a long-term care policy, photocopy the page listing the company, policy number and claims contact information. Keep the insurance company updated on new addresses, yours (if you are the third-party designee) and your relative’s. It wouldn’t hurt, if the policyholder is becoming forgetful, to check bank statements or call the company to be sure premiums are paid.

Do your elderly loved ones have a long-term care insurance policy or something similar? If yes, then they likely are relying on it to cover the potentially catastrophic financial risk that is long-term care. If yes, then what happens if they forget to pay the premiums?

Do I have your attention now? If yes, then you will want to read a recent horror story in The New York Times – The New Old Age Blog titled “The Policy Lapsed, but No One Knew.

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