LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

40 Must-Know Statistics About Long-Term Care


Great article from Morningstar by Christine Benz about making a sound decision about whether to opt for long-term care insurance, which involves weighing the probabilities. Is it worth it to pay the premiums for many years--and risk premium increases or benefit cutbacks along the way--in exchange for the peace of mind that your nest egg won't be wiped out to pay for your care at the end of your life? To read more click on the link below.

http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=564139


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Brief Comparison of Hybrid vs. Traditional Long Term Care Insurance


First, what is a hybrid long term care policy? A hybrid policy can be a combination of life insurance (or an annuity) and long term care coverage all in one policy.  

Some of the main bullet points when combining Life and Long Term Care coverage (Hybrid type policy):

  • One reason that Hybrid's may appeal to many folks is that their premiums are locked in and won’t increase. With a Hybrid type policy, you can rest assured that you will have level premiums throughout your entire policy, with no increases.

  • Hybrid policies pays for Long Term Care if you need it, a death if you don’t need it, or both if you only need a limited amount of care. However with traditional Long Term Care insurance, many people feel like it is a “use it” or “lose it” situation. If you paid premiums for decades, and you never had to use the long term care benefits, then finally you passed away your loved ones would not have anything to show for for all that money you invested in that traditional Long Term Care policy over the years. However with a Hybrid Life Insurance / Long Term Care insurance policy any Long Term Care coverage not used remains in a death benefit pool, so you don’t "lose it!" For example, if you have a $250,000 death benefit and only use $50,000 for Long Term Care, the remaining $200,000 goes to your beneficiaries as a tax free death benefit when the insured passes away.

  • Benefit period can be lifetime! (Rather than just a set small number of years in a traditional long term care insurance policy.)

  • Some Hybrid policies allow you the option to cover “both” spouses in the same policy.

  • Hybrid policies are ineligible for Long Term Care Partnership Program (Medicaid Asset Protection).

  • Generally Hybrid Insurance premiums are higher than traditional Long Term Care Insurance. However the reason is because you have a death benefit and you can also have more flexibility, such as some Hybrid policies let you cancel and get all your premium money back later on down the road if you no longer want to keep the policy!

  • Hybrid policy generally don’t allow for an inflation option in the original policy, but can have that inflation option in lifetime rider. (Which is not the same.)


Some of the main bullet points for Traditional Long Term Care Insurance:

  • Pays for Long Term Care if you need it (and qualify for it.)

  • Premiums are subject to increase with approval from your state’s insurance commissioner.

  • Shorter Benefit periods, usually limited to maximum of 5 years.

  • Traditional Long Term Care insurance policies are eligible for the Long Term Care Partnership Program (Medicaid Asset Protection).

  • Generally traditional Long Term Care Insurance initial premiums are lower than Hybrid policies for the same amount of coverage.

  • If you don’t use the Long Term Care insurance, you lose the premiums you paid in over the years. (Similar to a home owner’s policy, if you never had a claim.) There is no death benefit to your survivors such as there is with a Hybrid type policy.



To read one of my related blog posts, click on web link below.

Long Term Care Insurance - Hybrid Advantages


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Comparing Nursing Home Data Just Got Easier


 Sarasota Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith titled: "Comparing nursing home data just got easier." Click on link link below to read the article.    

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120719/ARTICLE/120719554/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall

Nursing Home Finder:

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

Hospital Finder (Medicare):

http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Do Americans Understand Long Term Care?


As you grow closer to retirement, the decision how to pay for potential long term care expenses should be a focus for most people. Long term care can be paid with a combination of personal or family savings, long term care insurance, and/or government assistance for those that qualify due to low incomes/assets. A major misconception is that many people (incorrectly) believe that Medicare will provide long term care. However, Medicare generally does not cover long term care. Medicare will only provide 100 days of nursing home care after a three day stay in a hospital. Medicaid will pay for long term care after most of your assets have been depleted, but Medicaid is usually limited to nursing home care.

I came across two interesting Long Term Care articles that I thought I’d share. 

The first one is a "Health Affairs Blog" article by Lee-Lee Prina entitled: Do Americans Understand Long-Term Care?

Below are a couple excerpts from the article:

The survey looks at older Americans’ understanding of long-term care, what they know or do not know about the cost and likelihood of needing long-term care services, and “their attitudes and behaviors” about planning ahead for possible care needs, according to a press release.

Experts estimate that 70 percent of Americans who get to age sixty-five will need some type of long-term care, “and our findings show that many Americans are unprepared for this reality,” commented Trevor Tompson, who directs the AP-NORC Center, in the release.

To read the full article, click on the link below:

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2015/07/16/do-americans-understand-long-term-care/


The second article is from the Portland Press Herald by Matthew Craft entitled: Cost of long term care beyond reach for middle class elderly. Mentions some examples of the costs associated with long term care. One example was how things didn’t end so well in one case without Long Term Care insurance and then another example of how things did work out well in a different case by planning ahead by purchasing Long Term Care Insurance and also being creative with her solution.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

How do people manage the widening gap between their savings and the high cost of caring for the elderly? Medicare doesn’t cover long-term stays, so a large swath of elderly people end up on the government’s health insurance program for the poor, Medicaid. For those in the middle class, however, the answer isn’t so simple. They have too much money to apply for Medicaid but not enough to cover the typical three years of care.

To read the full article, click on the link below:

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/21/cost-of-long-term-care-beyond-reach-for-middle-class-elderly/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Do You Have a Viable Plan for Long Term Care?


An informative Morningstar article about Long Term Care by Christine Benz, click on link below to read more. Explains briefly what Medicare and Medicaid provide if you don't have Long Term Care Insurance. (Not much at all and only under certain circumstances!)

Click on web link below to read the entire article:

http://investors.morningstar.com/news/cmsAcontent.html?t=DODFX&src=Morningstar&date=09-14-2015&nav=no&region=USA&culture=en-US&ProductCode=mle&resourceId=562537


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Don’t Forfeit Right to Sue a Nursing Home


I read an article from the Washington Post written by Michelle Andrews in our local Herald Tribune newspaper that really emphasized that you should not sign an arbitration agreement at a nursing home. Since such an agreement can really limit your rights and cost you a lot more if you ever have the occasion where you need to file a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death. It further mentions that signing an arbitration agreement is not a condition of admission to a nursing facility. Click on link below to read more.

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2012/09/25/dont-forfeit-right-to-sue-a-nursing-home/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Expense and Emotions in Preparing for Long Term Care


This New York Times article by Andy Shapiro is a good read regarding Long Term Care Insurance decisions with some examples of other people's experiences, along with some good basic tips. Click on link below to read more.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/your-money/expense-and-emotions-affect-decisions-about-long-term-care.html?_r=0


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Find A Great Nursing Home Before You Need One!


I read this helpful Herald-Tribune article regarding finding a great nursing home by Barbara Peters Smith and thought I’d share it.

Most nursing home stays are a result of sudden and unexpected hospitalization, when people don’t really have the time to research, or have the knowledge to shop around for a facility that will fit their needs the best. If you do some research well ahead of time, it can make a huge difference in making your (or your loved one’s) stay much better.

There are many things to consider such as, but not limited to: the lack of staffing, the care of the staffing, the food, the housekeeping of the facility, the costs, the noise, the existing patients, and the location of the facility, etc.

Those who that take time to research their options ahead of time, and are able to choose a facility in advance, tend to be happier with their choice then for example a nursing home assigned to them by a case worker.

The state's website, floridahealthfinder.gov, is actually a good place to start your search. Click on nursing homes, and you can learn about and compare places that are close to home. Then actually take a tour of the facilities yourself personally.


Click on web link below to read entire article:

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2016/07/08/find-a-great-nursing-home-before-you-need-one/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Source: http://health.heraldtribune.com/2016/07/08/find-a-great-nursing-home-before-you-need-one/

Finding Skilled Elder Home Care Workers Not Easy


Enlightening Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith regarding skilled elder care workers, not only can they be difficult to find, but also they can be very expensive. The article goes on to explain that you get what you pay for and that not all workers have the same level of experience, credentials, and are trustworthy. The least expensive route is not always the best option. You really need to research first before just hiring. One suggested way to research is to ask family and friends that may have gone through a similar circumstance and used a skilled elder care service they liked and trusted. Click on link below to read more.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130526/ARTICLE/130529745/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How Can We Fix Long Term Care Insurance?


This Wall Street Journal article by Alicia H. Munnell suggests one practical solution to the complex issues regarding long term care insurance. The article mentions that despite the fact that over one-quarter of men and over two-fifths of women will enter a nursing home at some point after age 65 and that a semi-private room costs about $80,000 a year, only about 10% of households purchase long term care insurance!

The article also compares the United States Long Term Care issues vs. United Kingdom's Long Term Care issues, but explains why they think their solution they suggest is a better alternative. Click on link below to read the article.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/05/22/how-can-we-fix-long-term-care-insurance/tab/print/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How Much Elder Care Costs In Your State


I thought I’d share this informative MarketWatch article by Kari Paul regarding how much elder care costs in different states. Where you live has a big impact on how much you will pay. The article includes a graph showing the monthly estimated costs for each of the states. I like how the article spelled out the very basics.


Below are some excerpts from the article:

  • "The most expensive option for elder care is a nursing home, followed by a full-time in home health care aide and then assisted living facilities. (Nursing homes provide more comprehensive care than assisted living facilities, where residents are supposed to be able to perform most basic daily living tasks themselves.) The least expensive elder care option in the U.S. is day care, where the elderly attend a center to receive care but keep living in their own homes.

  • The 65-and-over population in the U.S. is expected to nearly double over the next 30 years to 88 million from 48 million by 2050. The U.S. senior care market is also expected to have increase by more than 36% to $436.6 billion by 2018 from from $320 billion in 2013, a report from market research company BCC Research found.

  • Cost is not the only challenge for elder care. Baby boomers had fewer children than previous generations, according to a study from Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College, which means they have fewer children to act as care givers. Current generations are also more likely to live far away from their parents, making it more likely people will opt to pay formal care providers to help with aging parents.

  • As the need for elder care rises, the number of people opting for long-term care insurance is rising. Long term care accounts for 6% of Medicaid enrollees and 40% of Medicaid spending, according to a report from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), a non-partisan policy agency.1 


To read the entire article, please click on the web link below:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-much-elder-care-costs-in-your-state-2017-06-26



Source: MarketWatch article, dated June 26, 2017, by Kari Paul. Located at:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-much-elder-care-costs-in-your-state-2017-06-26


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews



How to Buy Long-Term-Care Insurance


Long-term-care insurance: It can make the difference between living out your life the way you want and becoming a burden to your family or a ward of the state. Click on link below to read more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304072004577323430307937536.html


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How To Choose Long Term Care Coverage


In this brief WSJ article by Glenn Ruffenach, it mentions some the discouraging news and things to be aware of when choosing a Long Term Care Insurance policy. Although what he didn't mention in the article is that there are some creative alternatives for traditional Long Term Care insurance that many people don't know about or bother to research. Some of the newer combo type life insurance policies can include Long Term Care Riders that provide a "fixed" premium that cannot increase throughout the entire policy, unlike traditional Long Term Care Insurance which can increase, and most likely will increase your premium payments over time. With this combo type policy, some optional policy riders can include inflation protection. Some combo type policies also allow you the option to cover “both” spouses in the same policy. The policy premiums can even be paid monthly or annually. (In other words, they do not have to be a "one-pay" premium for the entire policy premium in advance.) Some policy types can even guarantee to allow you to get all your premium money you paid into the policy returned to you at a later time down the road, if you decide you don't want the policy any longer. The gist is that the combo policy covers you while you are living, has a death benefit if you die for the people most important to you, and sometimes even allows you can get all your premium money paid into the policy back, if you choose not to continue the policy at a later date. So in other words, you don't have to lose all your money paid into the policy, like you would with a traditional Long Term Care Insurance Policy, if you never get to use the Long Term Care benefits!

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/03/11/how-to-choose-long-term-care-coverage/tab/print/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How To Use A Life Insurance Policy To Pay For Long Term Care


This informative agingcare.com article by Anne-Marie Botec explains how a person with an existing in-force life insurance policy can convert it into a Long Term Care Benefit Plan to help extend the time they remain private pay for Long Term Care, until they need to go on Medicaid later on the road. 

While this method isn't meant to replace planning in advance and purchasing Long Term Care Insurance nor give them the necessary amount of coverage for Long Term Care, it may help a little bit for folks that neglected to purchase Long Term Care Insurance earlier in their lives when they should have.

Click on link below to read more. 

http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/use-a-life-insurance-policy-to-pay-for-long-term-care-157309.htm?page=print


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care - How Will You Pay For It?


Below I put together some very brief, but important information to know about regarding Long Term Care:


  • Medicare does NOT cover Long Term Care! 
    (Many people incorrectly think or assume that Medicare will cover their Long Term Care needs. However Medicare does NOT cover Long Term Care. The Affordable Care Act does NOT cover Long Term Care either. While state Medicaid programs do cover long-term care, these benefits are available only to those with very low income.)


  • 70% of people age 65 and over will need long-term care during their lifetime!

  • Women, because of their longer life spans, are 50% more likely than men to enter a nursing home at some point after age 65.

  • One big myth about Long Term Care is that it affects senior citizens only. However the need for Long Term Care can happen at any age. Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65! Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

  • Long Term Care is expensive, especially without planning ahead with some sort of Long Term Care coverage! (When difficult decisions have to be made about healthcare, family members may also not be fully apprised of what someone’s wishes are under those circumstances. Addressing all of these issues ahead of time not only provides financial protection, it can also eliminate unnecessary emotional burdens.)

  • There are several options you may want to consider when it comes to funding Long Term Care future expenses:
    • Self-Insuring (Drawing down from your own assets to pay for long term health care costs as they arise.) As well as relying on family members to assist with your long term care needs, which can put a large burden on your family. This method is not advised unless you have substantial assets to draw from and/or family members that are willing to commit to pitching in long hours over possibly years to assist.
    • Another option is to purchase traditional Long Term Care Insurance well in advance when you are young and healthy enough to still qualify to get approved. (Note: Traditional Long Term Care insurance usually provides comprehensive coverage, but it comes with annual premiums which are not guaranteed. So an increase in future premiums later on may cause you to make a difficult choice to pay more than you originally planned or you will have to reduce coverage at a time when you may need it the most. Keep in mind that if end up never needing to use the Long Term Care coverage, you won’t get your money back with traditional Long Term Care Insurance.
    • A different method of Long Term Care coverage is with the use of hybrid types of policies. Life insurance policies can offer long term care benefit riders. Also fixed annuities set up to pay out a multiple of your premiums if needed to reimburse long term care expenses. These hybrid long term care solutions pay an income tax free death benefit to your beneficiaries if you don’t use all your benefits, and some type policies even offer a money-back guarantee via a return of premium feature.

  • An important thing to remember is don’t wait until it’s too late! Long Term Care planning is very much like retirement planning in the fact that the sooner you begin, the more options and flexibility you will have!



Conclusion: Purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest prices. If you missed the opportunity to purchase long term care insurance while you were younger and at your peak health, purchase your long term care insurance policy as soon as possible to avoid even higher rates and also avoid not being able to get approved due to deteriorating health issues.


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care - Interesting & Important Information



  • Many people incorrectly think or assume that Medicare will cover their Long Term Care needs. However Medicare does NOT cover Long Term Care. The Affordable Care Act does NOT cover Long Term Care either. While state Medicaid programs do cover long-term care, these benefits are available only to those with very low income.

  • Although Medicare may cover acute illnesses that require doctors’ visits and hospital stays, people are often unprepared to meet the expenses of long term chronic illness that are not covered by Medicare. These expenses can pose one of the greatest threats to their personal wealth. 

  • People are living longer nowadays, which is wonderful on one hand. However, the longer people live, the more likely there are to need long term care such as: long term care nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or in-home care providers.

  • 70% of people age 65 and over will need long-term care during their lifetime!
    Women, because of their longer life spans, are 50% more likely than men to enter a nursing home at some point after age 65.


  • One big myth about Long Term Care is that it affects senior citizens only. However the need for Long Term Care can happen at any age. Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65! Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

  • Long Term Care is expensive, especially without planning ahead with some sort of Long Term Care coverage! (When difficult decisions have to be made about healthcare, family members may also not be fully apprised of what someone’s wishes are under those circumstances. Addressing all of these issues ahead of time not only provides financial protection, it can also eliminate unnecessary emotional burdens.)

  • Many people are concerned that traditional long term care insurance policies are a “use it or lose it” type of insurance because they often assume money invested in premiums will be forever lost if they do not need long term care. Another big concern of many people is that their long term care insurance premiums will increase in the future. However, new types of long term care policies can eliminate “use it or lose it,” and also keep premiums level throughout their entire policy term. By combining life and long term care insurance, these hybrid policies provide coverage for long term care. However if that coverage isn’t ever needed, then the policyowner can get some or all of his or her premium back or provide protection for family members with life insurance.


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care - People Unsure About Ability to Pay


I read this Associated Press article by Alejandra Cancino that I found on the ABCNews web site and thought I’d share it. It states that the demand for long term care is expected to increase as the nation ages, but the majority of Americans 40 and older lack confidence in their ability to pay for it.

The article goes on to mention that a poll says about 4 in 10 don't think they will ever need long-term care. However that mindset runs counter to figures from the U.S. Administration on Aging, which says nearly 70 percent of people turning 65 will need help with daily activities in their golden years.

The survey they referred to found that nearly 4 in 10 respondents mistakenly expect to turn to Medicare, which doesn't pay for long-term care.

Long Term Care insurance can be expensive depending on your age, health, etc., but the alternative of self-funding for Long Term Care costs can turn out to much worse and a great deal more expensive than you think! Also self-funding Long Term Care costs can certainly turn out to be a whole lot more expensive than what the total Long Term Insurance Policy premiums would have added up to, if you would have just purchased a Long Term Insurance Policy policy in the first place!

It is important to apply for Long Term Care Insurance while you are relatively young and healthy, since the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be for a comparable policy. If you wait until you are older to apply for Long Term Care Insurance, the greater likelihood your application could be denied.

Contact me at 941-404-5334 to discuss your Long Term Care plans and/or start the process of getting you insured.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/poll-people-unsure-ability-pay-long-term-care-39519979


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care Annuities versus Long Term Care Insurance


Traditional Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) policies are often paid for on a monthly or annual basis, with premiums continuing for the duration of your lifetime (some offer single premium options). On the other hand, a long term care annuity (LTCA) is deemed 'fully funded' once the initial premium has been paid. There are no ongoing premiums or required payments.

Most traditional long term care insurance (LTCI) policies do not offer you a cash withdrawal benefit, or benefits in the event that you don't require long term care during your lifetime. A long term care annuity (LTCA) may allow you to access cash value during your lifetime, even if you never require care. In addition, when the annuity contract matures, your contract's remaining cash value may be passed onto your named beneficiaries.

Long term care insurance requires underwriting, which can be limiting if you have a pre-existing condition. Most long term care annuities do not require traditional underwriting and therefore could be a viable option if you would possibly be turned down for traditional long term care insurance.

Qualified benefits paid by both long term care insurance policies and long term care annuities are received on a tax-free basis to the contract/policy owner.

Long term care insurance and long term care annuities both offer benefits worth consideration. If you are seeking a simple, tax-advantaged method of providing some long term care coverage, an annuity may be the most viable option.1


1. Source: Courtesy of Insurance Associate Group April 2017 Newsletter 


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Long Term Care Insurance - Best Age To Purchase


Generally the younger you are, the lower your premiums will be! 

There are several things listed below that can increase the price of your long term care insurance policy. A combination of two or more items could possibly even double the premium.

  • If your health deteriorates, insurance companies will charge you more for the same level of coverage, that is if you can still get approved at all. If your health has deteriorated to the point where you already need long term care, most insurance companies will consider you uninsurable and won’t approve you for a new policy.
  • As you grow older insurance companies will charge you more for the same level of coverage.
  • If long term care costs continue to rise at the same pace as they have been, you will need to buy approximately 5% more coverage each year that you delay purchasing a long term care policy.
  • Some states have minimum purchase requirements for their Partnership Programs. (long term care insurance policies that protect assets away from Medicaid) For example some states, including California and Connecticut, increase their minimum purchase requirements by 5% each year, which increases the price by 5%.
  • Insurance companies regularly raise rate for new applicants, many times as much as 10% to 30%!


Conclusion: Purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest prices. If you missed the opportunity to purchase long term care insurance while you were younger and at your peak health, purchase your long term care insurance policy as soon as possible to avoid even higher rates and also avoid not being able to get approved due to deteriorating health issues.


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Long Term Care Insurance - Hybrid Advantages


While many Long Term Care traditional insurance policies offer initial lower premiums, there are several reasons to consider Hybrid (or combo) policies. Hybrid (or combo) policies are creative alternatives for traditional Long Term Care insurance that many people don't know about or don’t bother to research. 


  1. One reason that Hybrid's may appeal to many folks is that their premiums are locked in and won’t increase. Whereas with a traditional Long Term Care insurance policy, the premiums are NOT locked in. Meaning that your traditional Long Term Care insurance policy premiums may increase significantly (and have done so in the past!) For example, in the past they have typically increased approximately 35% to 50% every 5 to 7 years! However with a Hybrid type policy, you can rest assured that you will have level premiums throughout your entire policy, with no increases.

  2. With traditional Long Term Care insurance, many people feel like it is a “use it” or “lose it” situation. If you paid premiums for decades, and you never had to use the long term care benefits, finally you passed away, then your loved ones would not have anything to show for for all that money you invested in that traditional Long Term Care policy over the years. However with a Hybrid Life Insurance / Long Term Care insurance policy any Long Term Care coverage not used remains in a death benefit pool, so you don’t "lose it!" For example, if you have a $250,000 death benefit and only use $50,000 for Long Term Care, the remaining $200,000 goes to your beneficiaries as a tax free death benefit when the insured passes away.

  3. Long Term Care payments can go to the proposed insured and not directly to the caregiver. Some insurance carriers offer indemnity, rather than reimbursement. Basically this means that if a family member or even a friend is providing you care, you can pay them directly rather than the insurance company paying a nursing home, or traditional caregiver directly.

  4. There can be an inflation protection built into the policy.  If an individual uses a permanent product with an Long Term Care or a Chronic Illness Rider, an increasing death benefit option can be provided, which then also provides additional long term care coverage. If you don't use that option for additional LTC coverage, it may lead to a larger death benefit or cash value in the case you want to surrender the policy.

  5. Some Hybrid policies allow you the option to cover “both” spouses in the same policy.

  6. Some Hybrid policy types can even guarantee to allow you to get all your premium money you paid into the policy returned to you at a later time down the road, if you decide you don't want the policy any longer.



The gist is that a Hybrid policy covers you while you are living with Long Term Care coverage, has a death benefit if you die for the people most important to you, and sometimes even allows you can get all your premium money paid into the policy back, if you choose not to continue the policy at a later date. So in other words, with a Hybrid policy you have extra options and you don't have to lose all your money paid into the policy if you never get to use the Long Term Care benefits, like you would with a traditional Long Term Care Insurance Policy!


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Long Term Care Insurance - Indemnity vs. Reimbursement


Traditional reimbursement long term care insurance policies in general pay benefits based upon the actual expenses you incur. With a traditional reimbursement long term care plan you may have to submit care provider bills, you may be limited to the type of service that you can be reimbursed for, as well as the amount you can receive each day. Be sure to check out the exclusions section, and what is not included in your plan.

There is another type of long term care insurance policy that is an “indemnity” plan, which instead pays a monthly cash benefit directly to the policyholder, regardless of the expense incurred. (No monthly bills or receipts are needed to be submitted. However, the policyholder will still need to be benefit eligible, receiving covered services, and under a plan of care.)


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Long Term Care Insurance is Often Worth the Expense


This Reuters article "Your Practice: Building health safety nets for older clients" by Jennifer Hoyt Cummings is actually written for advisers and/or agents, but has it some good tips on Long Term Care Insurance such as: who should buy & when, also what to buy. It goes on to say that anyone who has tapped a long term care insurance policy knows how valuable it can be. Then she gives a good example of a person that used Long Term Care Insurance in the past and how valuable it was to have it in her unfortunate situation. Click on link below to find out more. 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/28/advisers-insurance-idUKL1E8KO9Q720120928


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Long Term Care Insurance: Weighing the Alternatives


A Wall Street Journal article by Charles Passy explaining some of the alternatives to Long Term Care Insurance. I particularly like the first line of the article. "Long-term-care insurance is the financial equivalent of gum surgery: something that is often seemingly necessary, but just as often avoided at all costs." However, I tend to like some of the hybrid policy options that I can offer as an alternative to a straight and pure Long Term Care Insurance policy. There are many benefits to the hybrid (also known as blended) policies, including that the premiums won't go up unexpectedly and if you don't use the long term care benefit in your lifetime, it is payable to your beneficiaries so the money you paid is not lost, etc. I also carry straight Long Term Care Insurance policies as well for those that prefer to go the traditional route since one size does not fit all, as they say. Contact me if you have questions. Click on link below to read more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443890304578006581060363270.html#printMode


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Long Term Care Myths - The Facts!


Below are some common myths about Long Term Care and what the actual facts are versus the myths:

Myth #1: I can save the money I’ll need for Long Term Care (LTC) services.1

Fact: Anyone who’s had this thought should stop to consider two crucial questions:
How will I save up the money? More important, Why?1

Long Term Care services are very expensive. The growing costs for care present a huge financial risk to older adults’ retirement dollars. Those who plan to take on the burden of LTC expenses for themselves and/or a spouse or other loved one could wipe out their lifetime savings much faster than they expect.1

Consider the facts:

• The average cost in 2010 for a one-year stay in a private nursing home room is $83,580.1

• Of all Americans age 65 and up today, 1-in-5 will require LTC services for five years or more.1

• At today’s average cost, a couple with $500,000 in assets would deplete their savings in just a few short years paying for LTC services.1


Myth #2: A government program such as Medicaid or Medicare will take care of me?

Most people incorrectly think Medicare will pay for Long Term Care services. In reality, Medicare does not generally cover long term care. Medicare pays for skilled care in a nursing home only for short periods (only up to 100 days) during which you are recuperating following a hospital stay for a related condition.

Also government programs are difficult to qualify for, and they have very specific requirements for Long Term Care services. Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ services may help pay for some Long Term Care services but only in specific circumstances. However each program has specific rules that define which services are covered, when benefits are paid, who can qualify, and the actual dollar amounts people must pay out of pocket. Medicaid pays for long term care only for people with very low assets and limited income

When people do qualify for Medicaid and receive benefits for their Long Term Care costs, there’s a snag. Federal law requires that states recover the money Medicaid spent on their behalf, from their estate after they pass away. Probate law dictates what the states will include in estates, but typically it includes real and personal property, such as a home. This could force a person’s spouse to sell their home, or Medicaid could put a lien on the house in the amount of Long Term Care expenditures.

It is also very important to remember that government programs are limited by availability and financial resources.


Myth #3: My family will take care of me

Home Care is one of the fastest growing industries for these reasons:
Families are working and living further away from their parents than ever before. Not only that, but many adult children are in the sandwich generation that may have a young child and a parent they are taking care of. This additional care can create a burden to the family members since it is a large undertaking causing stress as well as creating a large financial cost if they stay home. So it is very important to keep in mind that caring for a family member can be a huge financial and emotional burden on your loved ones when deciding not to purchase Long Term Care Insurance for yourself and/or your spouse.

You may want to ask yourself these type questions:

Will my children be willing to clean up after me all the time?
Will my children be willing to help bathe me?
Will my children be willing to clean up after I have an explosion outside the bathroom? 

These are real type scenarios that can and do happen every day, so they need to be considered while planning for your future care needs. 


Myth #4 My spouse and I are too young to need Long Term Care services.

Facts: Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65!
Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

Among adults age 65 and older, about 70% will need some kind of help with the basic activities of daily living for weeks, months or even years as they age. 

You should purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest premiums.


Myth #5: I don’t need a separate Long Term Care Insurance policy because I already have health insurance!

Most people incorrectly believe that they have coverage for Long Term Care expenses.

Long Term Care Insurance is not the same as health insurance, which is designed simply to cover the costs to cure individuals and return them to good health.

Private health insurance and Medicare may cover skilled nursing, short-term care, and medically necessary care, but they won't cover custodial or personal care services, and those services represent a significant proportion of long-term care expenses. Private health insurance and Medicare won't pay for assisted living, continuing care in retirement communities, or adult day services.

Health insurance is intended to help pay for medical care only, but Long Term Care Insurance benefits help support potentially costly Long Term Care services, which can include Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as: bathing, eating, getting dressed, moving around, etc. Long Term Care services are generally required by those who are dealing with chronic illnesses, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. that require the level of needed care that can continue to grow over time. 


Myth #6: I can’t afford Long Term Care Insurance!1

Fact: The cost for LTC protection can fit nearly anyone’s budget and financial goals. LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can be much costlier to individuals and families. LTC costs can quickly deplete a person’s hard-earned life savings.1

LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can actually be much costlier to individuals and families.1

 

Myth #7: I won't need Long Term Care services.

Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care, and because these life altering conditions tend to occur later in life, many people who are in their 60's underestimate the likelihood that they'll eventually need a long term helping hand. In addition, when you consider that people are living longer on average, the chance of needing Long Term Care is likely to increase in the future.

That assumption, however, is sadly incorrect. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people turning 65 this year will require Long Term Care in the future. 





Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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1. Source: OneAmerica State Life Insurance Company
https://www.oneamerica.com/campaigns/ltc-myths/ltc-myths-files/file-myth-ltc-brochure


Medical Bills Make Final Years Costly: Study


In this Wall Street Journal article by Glenn Ruffenach, it tells about a study indicating that the health-care costs in the last five years of life are bigger than most people expect! If interested in reading more click on the link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medical-bills-make-final-years-costly-study-2012-09-17?siteid=nwhpf


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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No Such Thing As Rent Control At Many Elder Facilities


Thought I’d share an interesting Hearld-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith regarding assisted living facilities and their rent increases. That part of the contract may often be overlooked in the fine print when transitioning into an assisted living facility.

The article states that the assisted living facilities can raise the monthly rental fee as much as they like, as often as they like, and the only thing that Florida law requires is that they give a 30 notice, in writing. The articles goes on to mention that even though assisted living facilities are regulated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, they don’t get any where near the scrutiny that nursing homes do, nor do they play by the same rules. 

Additionally, the article states that AHCA does have this advice on its website:
"Check the contract to see if the rate is guaranteed, for how long, and under what conditions a contract or residency agreement can be changed or ended. If you are given a verbal guarantee, be sure to get it in writing."


Click on link below to read entire article:

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2016/06/24/at-many-elder-facilities-no-such-thing-as-rent-control/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Nursing Home Star Ratings Change Makes It Tougher To Shine


In this Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith it mentions that since the federal government’s popular star ratings for nursing homes have lately been indicating that most have high star ratings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced some important changes recently, with more in the works. 

They will be raising the bar for what it takes to earn a five-star rating, including the agency will add an important new measure to its quality indicators.

CMS will also adjust its algorithms accordingly that calculate very important facility staffing levels, which many experts consider the most crucial ingredient in residents' wellbeing. In addition, it has a new program of targeted state surveys that will help further refine the rating system.

To read the entire article, click on the link below.

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2015/02/20/nursing-home-star-ratings-change-makes-tougher-shine/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Preparing for Long Term Care


Good insight on expenses, emotions, and what to expect in preparing for Long Term Care in this New York Times article by Ann Carrns. A lot of folks don't realize that Long Term Care Insurance isn't just for nursing homes, depending on how the policy is written, most policies can include in home care so you can still get treatment in your own home rather than moving to a nursing home facility!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/your-money/expense-and-emotions-affect-decisions-about-long-term-care.html?_r=0


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Private Home Care Could Become More Common For Elders


A different approach to Long Term Care that many might not know about is Private Home Care, where the atmosphere can be more personalized and less regimented. Also they can be a whole lot less expensive than a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, be sure to check out the actual Private Care Home before making any decisions as they are the only type of Long Term Care residence for elders that are not regulated by the state. The homeowners can not host more than two elders at a time, and do not have to meet the rigorous requirements that apply to group home and assisted living facilities. So as they say "buyer be beware," but in this case “renter" seems to fit better. 

Along with less expensive costs, also comes along the potential for abuse which can increase since their isn’t really any state government oversight. Just like any major decision do your research upfront first. It may be a good fit if the Private Care Home is a clean, well cared property, along with thoughtful, kind, courteous, conscientious, honest, and experienced caregivers. To read more in this Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith click on the link below.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140123/ARTICLE/140129809/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall#gsc.tab=0


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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The Cost Of Long Term Care In Your State



This Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article by Anne Tergesen has some good information and a link to a Genworth web site that show the costs of Long Term Care in your local state.

One interesting excerpt is: "According to academics at Georgetown and Penn State universities, about 70% of individuals 65 and older will need long-term care—whether at home or in an assisted-living facility or nursing home. On average, women need 3.7 years of care, while men need 2.2 years. For 11% of men and 28% of women, the duration is five or more years.”

The article goes on to mention what the nationwide average costs of different types of care are such as: home health aide, adult day care, assisted living, and a private room in a nursing home. Keep in mind that prices vary according to your location which may cost more or less than the national average. To help, they also supply a web link to see prices in your local state. Also pasted below.

Click on links below to read more.


http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2014/04/15/the-cost-of-long-term-care-in-your-state/tab/print/

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If you want to go directly to the Genworth website, I also pasted the link below.

https://www.genworth.com/corporate/about-genworth/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Very Informative Alzheimer Video You Should Watch!


I watched a very short 2017 Alzheimer Association facts and figures video that I thought was important to share to understand just one aspect of why Long Term Insurance is so imperative to have!

Some quick fact excerpts:1

  • More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • It kills more that breast cancer and prostate cancer COMBINED!
  • 1 in 3 Seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another Dementia.
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other Dementias.
  • In 2016 these caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 Billion hours of care valued at over $230 Billion!
  • In 2017, Alzheimer’s and other Dementias will cost the nation $259 Billion!
  • By 2050, These costs could rise as high as $1.1 Trillion!


Click on web link below to watch this video (less than 2 minutes!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLsVS0lrRD0


Click on web link below to go directly to Alzheimer web site for facts:

https://alz.org/facts/


Click below for:

PDF document fact sheet you can download


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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1. Source: 2017 Alzheimer Association facts and figures video located at:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLsVS0lrRD0

Why Many People Don’t Buy Long Term Care Insurance


I read two interesting articles on the same topic of Long Term Care Insurance and I wanted to share them.

One article was a MarketWatch article by Olivia S. Mitchell and Daniel Gottlieb and the other was a Forbes article by Howard Gleckman. See web links below to the full articles.

An estimated 7 in 10 people will need Long Term Care after they reach age 65, and it will be costly when they do. Yet others will need Long Term Care insurance at even younger ages due to illness or injury. However even so, most people refuse to buy Long Term Care insurance in advance while they are still healthy and at an age where it is less expensive.

One of the main reasons why they don’t purchase Long Term Care insurance is that it can be very expensive. Many people incorrectly assume that they will qualify for government assistance for nursing home care or that their Medicare Supplement insurance will cover their long stays. There are rules in place to disqualify many people who don’t meet the strict conditions required in order to qualify for government assistance.

Another reason that many people decline to purchase Long Term Care insurance is that they feel it has no real value if they don’t end up needing long term care in their lifetime. However according to the MarketWatch article they are looking at Long Term Care insurance in the wrong way. "Instead of looking at long-term-care insurance primarily as financial protection, many people think of it as an investment — and a bad one at that. They see the premiums as money that would be wasted if the policy owner ultimately doesn’t need long-term care. They don’t think about the catastrophic losses a policy could help them avoid."

However nowadays there are other options other than just “traditional" Long Term Care insurance, that can include being able to get your premiums returned if you don’t use the Long Term Care insurance, or you can leave money to a beneficiary in case you pass away before using the Long Term Care insurance, etc.



Click on the web links below to read the full articles:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-people-dont-buy-long-term-care-insurance-2015-06-17

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Related article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2011/09/12/why-people-dont-buy-long-term-care-insurance/

(FYI: You may need to click “Continue To Site” in top right corner of their web page.)


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews