Understanding LTC Insurance Company Rating

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Companies are like people, and just like people, they can fall on financial hard times and suffer through bankruptcy. This is especially true for long-term care (LTC) insurance companies, who have to deal with an expensive and complex insurance system. As a result, some companies end up going into bankruptcy because they are unable to afford to pay out benefits due to a variety of factors. This means it is very important for individuals to look at LTC insurance company ratings so that they are not left with nothing to show for the premium payments.

One of the best ways to determine if a company is going to head into financial difficulties is by looking at LTC insurance company ratings, which come from several companies including Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and A.M. Best. The rating system was created to ensure that insurance companies were financially sound when issuing a policy.

Currently, Standard & Poor’s publishes a rating on thousands of insurance companies, while A.M. Best publishes 50 different reports about insurance companies and has been in business for over 100 years, as well as being one of the largest insurance rating companies in the world.

The credit ratings provided by these evaluation companies can give a clear indication about the risk potential of putting your money into a company, however this is not an endorsement of that company, as many individuals think.

The rating system will differ, but the results are generally the same. While Standard & Poor’s best rating is AAA, Moody’s is Aaa and Best’s is A . This signifies an excellent record of financial stability and an ability to meet the demands of policyholders.

Low ratings are generally universal in how the insurance evaluators rate them, with F being the lowest of the low. You will not want to be a part of a company with an F rating because they are nearly bankrupt, or they have begun bankruptcy proceedings. In terms of companies with a C or a D rating, you should avoid taking out long-term care insurance with them because their LTC insurance company rating is not that great. Try and only go through companies with a high rating. Remember, it is your money and you don’t want to pay into something you won’t be able to benefit from later on down the road.

Conclusion When you pay money into a policy that will keep your head, as well as your family’s heads, above financial water when you are in need of long-term care, you want to make sure that the company you pay to is going to be around in 30, 20 or 10 years.

You should just ask for help from an insurance representative who specializes in long term care insurance to answer any questions.

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LCTi Myth: I Cannot Afford Long-Term Care Insurance

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

As the title of this says, the belief that you cannot afford long-term care insurance is nothing more than a myth. The truth of the matter is that everyone can afford long-term care insurance, and everyone who is interested in retirement planning should. The premiums are not high when they are compared with the long-term care cost that families, or the individual, will have to incur over the course of the long-term care life.

If you are worried that you cannot afford long-term care insurance, then start getting the premiums as early as you can. There is nothing wrong with a 30-year-old doing retirement planning. In fact, the younger you are, the lower your premiums are. Often, a 30-year-old will pay $100 or more less than a senior citizen will in their monthly insurance premiums to pay for their long-term care insurance. The types of young individuals who take the initiative to start retirement planning understand the long-term care cost they may have to pay for without the insurance, and they understand that nearly half of all those who use long-term care services are not over the age of 65.

Long-term care is incredibly important and an individual should make the effort to afford long-term care insurance because it will make things easier, financially speaking, on their family and themselves. Costs can run as high as $5,000 per month for long-term care, and without long-term care insurance, an individual’s savings can disappear very quickly.

For the cost of cable television or monthly payments on that exercise machine you bought but never use, you can afford to pay your insurance premiums on your long-term care plan. There is no reason you cannot afford long-term care insurance when you make the effort to cut back on non-essentials. There is nothing more essential than making sure you have the money to get the long-term care you need in case you need help with your day-to-day activities.

Do not think that you will only need it when you are 80. Your life can change in an instant, and even at the young age of 40 you can require long-term care because of an accident, surgery, or illness. Christopher Reeve was healthy and fit at the age of 41, at the age of 42 he was paralyzed from the neck down because of a fall from a horse. He required long-term care for the rest of his life. If it can happen to Superman, it can happen to anyone.

Conclusion

If you believe the myth that only some can afford long-term care insurance, then you need to give your head a shake. Everyone, even if they have to cut back on that latte every day, can afford long-term care insurance when they make the initiative. Retirement planning for long-term care cost is an effective way of taking your future by the horns and ensuring your family does not have to pay for your care, thereby putting financial stresses on them as well. Everyone can afford long-term care insurance, it is just a matter of whether or not they want to take the initiative and pay for it.

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Long Term Care Insurance – Six Things You Must Know

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

If you want to get a long term care insurance quote, it is essential that you know some of the factors involved. This particular article will give you six essential factors to take into consideration. If you want an ltci quote, there is so much information you will want to know about so that you can make an informed decision. This information is based upon factors such as what type of benefits you want to receive when using your policy.

Long term care insurance quotes can be very complex but this article will give you six important points to consider. When you buy your policy and the type of policy you choose will allow the quote to change.

The types of benefits you receive will help determine your cost of long-term care. These types of benefits can include whether you will receive in-home services, care at a nursing home or from services based in your community.

Your age is going to determine the cost of the policy. If you are younger and buying a policy, you will almost certainly receive a lower premium.

Different costs for quotes can be based upon what company you request a quote for. You should ask your employer if they offer ltci.

Your quote can be contingent upon how you want benefits to be paid out. Some policies allow you to spend a certain maximum in whatever way you want while others offer a maximum based upon a daily, weekly, or monthly time frame.

The age at which you can start using your benefits will be a question that an insurance agent will ask you.

Daily benefits can also pay a part in the quote you receive from an insurance agent. If you want higher daily benefits, this will cause your ltci quote to be higher.

Hopefully this has given you good information regarding long term care insurance quotes. More information is always better so that you have an idea what to expect and you can have thought through what you want out of your policy.

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Long Term Care Simplified

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

What is Long-Term Care? When people consider the subject of long-term care, they often think about nursing homes. In fact, long-term care has little to do with nursing homes. Understanding the difference can help you protect your family and finances.

The Consequences of Living Longer

Long-term care is a continuum of care services and housing that you will need later in life. Think you won’t live a long life? Think back 25 years ago. If you had cancer or a stroke, you simply died. Few ever heard of Alzheimer’s. Today, it is the leading cause for long-term care services. The longer you live, the more likely you are to need care. The question is not who will take care of you, because your family will most often, but rather what will that care do to your family and finances.

Long-Term Care is Usually Custodial Care

Long-term care is defined as needing assistance with your activities of daily living (toileting, bathing, dressing, eating, transferring from one point to another, and continence). It also includes cognitive impairment so severe that the individual needs constant supervision. If you need custodial care, chances are it will be delivered in the community, not in a nursing home. Many of you have heard compelling statistics from The New England Journal of Medicine stating that 43% of those over age 65 will need nursing home care. What the article actually said is that that number may spend some time in a facility. The fact is, few end their days in one. Every study conducted finds that care is overwhelmingly provided at home. The key question, of course, is who is going to pay for it? Who Covers the Cost?

Medicare & VA

Medicare, the primary health care program for retirees pays only for skilled or rehabilitative care, not custodial care in any venue. Medicaid, a federal and state program for financially needy individuals will pay for custodial care, but primarily in nursing homes. Funding for home care and assisted living is very limited and based on availability of funds. Veterans believe that the VA will pay for home care, adult day care, or assisted living. As with Medicaid, funding is limited and generally based on service-related disability. In fact, the federal government has as much said this to veterans by encouraging them to purchase long-term care insurance through the new Federal Long-Term Care Insurance program. The result is that consumers are forced to pay privately for their care. Unfortunately, the best thought-out retirement plan rarely takes into consideration living a long life. Put another way, those assets and income have been allocated to pay for retirement, not for the consequences of living a long life. This results in the need to invade principal and divert income. As a result, one of a seniors’ greatest fear, outliving their assets, literally may come true.

The Role of Long-Term Care Insurance

The use of long-term care insurance thus becomes an important part of planning for disability caused by living a long life. The product has two roles: helping keep families together and allowing your retirement portfolio to execute for the purpose for which it was intended, namely retirement. From a family perspective, who will provide your care? Like it or not, children will play a key role. Long-term care insurance (LTCI) doesn’t replace the need for family involvement in providing care but rather builds on it. It pays professionals to assist the person with the toughest tasks such as toileting, bathing, feeding and continence. This, in turn, allows the family to provide care better and longer at home. That leads to a critical question: have YOU planned for the consequences of living a long life? From a financial point of view, LTCI allows your retirement plan to stay intact. That is particularly important given the recent steep decline in portfolio value. The product, in effect, protects the balance of your account value. LTCI also protects income. Although you may qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs by transferring assets, your income (pension, social security, IRA and or 401k payout) cannot be protected. When buying this insurance, look for a long-term care specialist. Consider their training, educational credentials, and commitment to help solve your long-term care needs. The key is whether they talk first about a plan or a product. If they are interested in the plan, you are dealing with a professional. If they focus first on product and price, consider getting another opinion.

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New Secretary of Health and Human Services-Kathleen Sebelius

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

The confirmation of the new Secretary of Health and Human Services brings Kathleen Sebelius to the Cabinet, she’s a former Kansas Governor. The new Secretary will command the FDA, the CDC, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

She was voted in on an approval of 65 to 31, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. What has been mentioned previously as the negatives were Secretary Sebelius’s stand on abortion, it’s pro choice, and that she has an association with a physician who does abortions.

The nomination approval comes with an extra five votes as she gained a few Republican supporters. Since she made it to the Cabinet, it increases the number of strong insiders for President Obama who mean to revise the health care area this year.

The newest cabinet member, who is a Democrat, has similar views to President Obama on health care. Secretary Sebelius will produce a similar plate of ideas and plans such as prohibiting pre-existing condition exclusions, individual mandates, and public sponsored individual health insurance plans.

President Obama had some others in mind for his first choice in this post. But Sebelius will be a powerful person in dealing with the health reform issue.

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