Long -Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance is a way to protect your assets in case you or a loved one needs care. It helps pay for care in your own home, in an assisted living, or in a skilled care facility.
Many people purchase insurance to protect their assets, however, the insurance also provides peace of mind. Most people do not want to be a burden on their family when the time arises when care is needed. Those who plan ahead will have a smoother transition for their family and for themselves. It provides a clear understanding of where care will come from, who is responsible, and how it will be paid.
Long-Term care insurance provides many benefits. The insurance carrier usually provides a care coordinator who helps the family decide the type of care that is needed and helps coordinate from a hospital setting to home. The insurance usually pays for medical equipment which helps someone stay in their own home longer. A medical alert system is very valuable and is usually also covered. Home modification which can be grab bars, ramps, or widening narrow areas in your home to make it wheelchair accessible or safer is also part of many plans.
Financially the benefits of LTC insurance are of greatest value. It provides a safety net over your assets so instead of having to liquidate assets, one merely taps into their insurance to pay for care. Medicare or other health insurance does not pay for what most people need which is custodial care in a private setting or Assisted Living, and Skilled care. Without LTC insurance, people can deplete their savings, CD’s, cash, and other investments. They may be forced to liquidate their 401k or other investments to pay for the cost of care. Sometimes, if care is needed for a long period, people may need to sell their home and use the equity to pay for care.
If you are married, the money that you liquidate or use for care reduces the retirement amount for your spouse. In the case of a long term event such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or a stroke, anyone without insurance can be left with little to nothing. In cases of premarital agreements, a spouse is still responsible for paying for care. Your money is not protected. This type of insurance requires very thoughtful planning in advance since it can affect the outcome of a person’s lifestyle in their retirement years. Most people should purchase this type of coverage before 60 since premiums are lower and it is easier to pass underwriting. My average age client is 54 years old.
THE WAY IT WORKS
I work with you personally to determine all benefits that will fit your budget and lifestyle. Basically you are purchasing a pool of money that increases in value based on an inflation rate that you choose. Cost is based on your health and age at time of applying.
There is an elimination period which is the time period you are responsible for before the insurance starts. This can be based on a service day or calendar day. I recommend calendar days.
There are other options we would discuss such as shared care where you and your spouse can share benefits, survivorship benefits in case one of you dies and the surviving spouse plan is paid up, return of premium in case you want a refund upon death, a security benefit if your spouse is not accepted for coverage but the plan allows for some coverage, a non-forfeiture benefit in case you quit paying your premiums, and a single or joint waiver of premium which means you no longer pay for benefits once you start your claim. We go over all the options until you fully understand them.
California Partnership was implemented to help families preserve their assets. It is a plan in which the State of California will allow you to protect one dollar of your own money for every dollar you receive for care from an approved Long-Term Care Partnership Policy in cases of MediCal spend down. Golden Benefits Insurance Services is licensed to sell this type of policy.
In order to qualify for benefits, you must not be able to perform 2 out of the 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) without substantial assistance. the ADL’s are:
Or, when you need help because of severe cognitive impairment.
AND a health care practitioner certifies that you will need care for 90 days or longer.
This area is quite broad. It is best to call and discuss your situation. Do not assume you are uninsurable. If you are pending any surgery or in rehabilitation now, you are uninsurable at this time but that could change in time.
"There are only 4 Types of People in This World
Those who have been caregivers
Those who currently are caregivers
Those who will be caregivers
Those who will need caregivers"