Planning For Long-Term Health Care

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

The future is uncertain and anything can happen. You may live a long and healthy life, only to die at the age of 102 while you are out on your daily jog, or you may suffer a stroke at the age of 62 and require long-term care to help you accomplish your daily activities. As a result, you need to start planning for long-term health care to ensure you do not suffer from an unexpected event that could leave you as a financial burden on your family.

Planning for long-term health care comes down to two factors: savings and insurance. If you have a large savings, you will be able to use it as a cushion while you get long-term care insurance to help pay your expenses, without dipping into your savings too much. When you get long-term care insurance, you will be paying the premiums for several years before you start to think about collecting benefits on it, but when you do you will have a wonderful monthly income that may leave your savings untouched.

You may have $50,000 saved up in the bank, or even more, but when you factor in all your expenses, especially the fact it can costs $5,000 a month to stay in a nursing home, your $50,000 disappears after only 10 months. If you have $500,000 saved up, then your savings will cover you for about eight years, but if you are 62 when you suffer a stroke that leaves you in need of daily care for 10 years, you are two years too short. However, if you have a plan that pays you $2,000 a month, you are able to extend your ability to pay for your nursing home and your home care by an another five years. That comes from only paying $40 a month or more into your premium!

It is incredibly important to start planning for long-term health care because when you are young, your premiums will be much less than when you are older. As well, nearly half of all individuals who collect on long-term care insurance plans are people below retirement age. Accidents can happen and you don’t want to be a burden on your family when you were an asset before. Planning your long-term health care through long-term care insurance programs means that will not happen and you will receive the care you need, while your family does not have to lose out financially.

Conclusion Long-term health care needs can happen to anyone, from the earliest age to the oldest. To ensure that you can afford the high costs of nursing and home care, you will need to start planning your long-term health care. This can be done through getting long-term care insurance policies that will give you the cushion you need to enjoy life in a nursing home, without having to worry about your finances. Savings will run out eventually, so you should prolong them as long as you can by planning your long-term health care with a long-term care insurance plan.

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

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Check This Out Before Looking Into Long Term Care Insurance

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

A long-term care insurance quote is based upon many factors. You will want know these factors and this article will give you six key points to explain some of those factors. When you receive an ltci quote, it is going to be contingent upon what you want out of the policy regarding benefits levels and where you are in your life age-wise. Using the information in this article will allow you to be a smart consumer.

Looking at long term care insurance quotes, what you want your policy to include and when you receive your policy will cause changes in the quotes you will receive. This article will give you more information about what companies you should look for among other factors.

When you are thinking about long-term care, you need to think about what types of benefits you will want. You can receive in-home service, nursing home care, or community based services to give you an idea.

One factor in the cost of your policy is your age. Getting your policy at a younger age allows the premium to be lower.

You will want to look at different types of companies. Your employer may be able to offer this type of insurance or you may want to look at individual companies.

You can choose different policies with different benefits. Some policies pay a maximum for either a daily, weekly, or monthly amount or others pay up to a certain dollar amount.

You have the option to choose when you are able to start using benefits and this will cause a change in your insurance quote. Daily benefits level is something to think over. If you want higher daily benefits limits, this will cause you to pay more for your ltci.

A long term care insurance quote is something you will want to really understand because it will take more money to take care of yourself when you are older. Putting your thoughts and the information out there to be discussed and thought about will allow you to truly pick the best policy for you.

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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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