Long Term Care Plans from America's Best Long Term Care Insurance Companies for Applicants Ages 45-80

Medicare does NOT pay for expensive long term care services.   How will you pay for care?

Long Term Care Insurance Expert

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The Real Cost of Waiting to Buy Insurance

Most long term care insurance policies are purchased between the ages of 50 and 65. Never the less, many feel they can put buying this important coverage off without counting the real cost. In this interview with a Carlsbad, California retiree, learn why waiting to buy this critial coverage is something you might want to rethink. READ MORE

Long term care insurance would have saved Suze Orman over $1,000,000

Suze Orman has been a long time proponent for long term care insurance for the valuable long term care coverage it provides to seniors. In fact, Ms. Orman encouraged her mother, Ann, to buy this valuable coverage many times. Never the less, Suze’s mother was hesitant to follow her daughter’s sage advice.

Suze Orman’s mother passed away recently at the age of 97, so Suze gives her personal experience about the cost of caring for her mother. Suze’s mother said she would never need long term care insurance and yet Suze Orman spent over $1,000,000 paying for her mother’s care in retirement.

Learn more about Suze Orman’s bottom line in this video.

Posted in Long Term Care, Long Term Care Costs, Long Term Care Insurance, Long Term Care Services, Long Term Care Videos, News, Nursing Home Care | 161 Comments

How to Avoid the Catastrophic Costs and Effects of Long Term Care

Long Term Care Planning Book

Long Term Care Planning Book

Get a free copy of the Long Term Care Planning book is a book that highlights the potentially devastating cost of long term care and how it is paid for from the perspective of an elder law attorney. Elder law attorneys specialize in legal planning for seniors to help them plan for incapacity or death while assisting in the preservation of assets.

As estate planning and elder care attorneys, authors Brenda Geiger and Bradley Erdosi are keenly aware of the significant risks long term care poses to a family’s retirement and estate plans. They wrote this book as a primer for clients to help them understand what long term care entails, how it is paid for, and the importance of advance planning.

The book has nine chapters and covers a variety of topics that many financial and insurance professionals will find familiar, but I found Chapter 9 – Qualifying for VA Benefits – particularly interesting.

Living and working in San Diego with the largest population of active and retired military in the country, I’ve learned that many are unfamiliar or simply misinformed regarding their VA benefits. They don’t understand what benefits are really available to them, whether these benefits likewise apply to their spouses, or how they qualify for the benefits. They simply know that they HAVE benefits and believe they are “covered”, but they don’t really know what that means.

To answer these questions, Chapter 9 (p. 49) provides an in depth look at the most common veteran’s benefits available – disability compensation and non-service connected pensions. It also provides the five key eligibility requirements for Aid and Attendance – a benefit that provides some in-home and facility long term care services. The chapter also dispels a common misconception regarding the qualification limit on assets used in calculating VA benefit eligibility.

How to Avoid the Catastrophic Costs and Effects of Long Term Care is a well-written, logically constructed, and informative read. It is  unbiased, makes no specific recommendations, and makes no references to insurance companies or their products. I highly recommend this book to any insurance or financial professional and particularly for those that find themselves working with retired military. LTC411 has made a FREE e-copy of this book available and the first 50 requests will also receive a first edition hard copy of the book.

BOOK REVIEW: By Kevin W. Jackson, LongTermCareInsurance411

GO HERE to get a free copy of this long term care planning book courtesy of the Geiger Law Group.

TITLE: How to Avoid the Catastrophic Costs and Effects of Long Term Care
AUTHORS: Brenda Geiger, JD and Bradley Erdosi, JD
COPYRIGHT: Copyright 2013 by Brenda Geiger and Bradley Erdosi
ISBN: 978-1-59571-883-9
Posted in Linked Benefit Plans, Long Term Care, Long Term Care Costs, Long Term Care Guides, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Premium Costs, Retirement, Shared Care, Veterans Administration | Tagged , , , , , , , | 150 Comments

Don’t Make the Same Long Term Care Insurance Mistake

Illustrating the Value of Long Term Care Insurance

Today many Americans want to see insurance plans like government social programs that they pay into and then expect to be fully covered. Of course, there’s not an actuary under the sun that can pull off that hat trick and even mighty Uncle Sam requires taxes and borrowing to pay for his unfunded entitlement programs; insurance companies don’t work that way.

For years, many insurers provided long term care insurance benefits that were affordable and provided a lifetime of benefits if necessary. Today those options are going the way of the Dodo bird as long term care insurers grapple with increasing claims and historically low interest rates. This perfect economic storm has caused insurance companies to raise rates, cut benefits, and institute tougher underwriting. As a result, most seniors today cannot afford lifetime coverage, if it’s even available, and many balk at smaller policies that fit within their budgets.

Never the less, smaller policies that serve as co-insurance plans still offer huge value in protecting a family’s assets from the potentially devastating cost of long term care. A recent conversation highlights the need to help consumers understand the real value insurance provides.

A gentleman recently told me he wasn’t interested in long term care insurance and so I asked him why. His reason was simple: his father, who had recently passed away, had a long term care policy that only paid $3000 per month toward the care he received in a nursing home. This man and his sister were left to pay the difference out-of-pocket totaling a whopping $60,000 over four years. The two siblings were happy to provide the money needed to pay for their father’s care, but his insurance was a bust; after all, he paid into the policy for ten years and then, just when he needed it most, it didn’t pay for all of his nursing home expenses.

As a result, this man certainly wasn’t interested in buying long term care insurance. As far as he was concerned, his father would have been better off investing the money he spent on the insurance premiums. “I’m not going to make the same mistake,” he said.

I was sorry to hear about the loss of this man’s father and I knew it must have been a challenge to help pay for his care, but I wanted to get to the bottom of this.

I asked the man if he knew how much his father had paid for his long term care policy and he answered that he had paid about $200 per month for the coverage. Doing some quick math, I calculated that his father had paid about $25,000 for his policy before needing care. “Exactly!,” the man replied, “he paid all that money to the insurance company and they still didn’t pay for all of his bills.”

“Certainly, $25,000 is a lot of money,” I replied, “but if I understand correctly, the policy paid $3,000 per month for almost four years, is that right?” Yes, he nodded.

“That’s unbelievable!,” I said. “Your father paid $25,000 for a policy that paid out $150,000 in benefits. It sounds like what you’re really telling me is that you’re unhappy with your father for not buying more insurance because THAT was the best investment he ever made.”

After a brief pause, shaking his head, he said, “Hmmm, I never thought of it that way.”

He was rethinking the matter, so I advised,”You know, you’re absolutely right – you shouldn’t make the same mistake your father made. When you buy long term care insurance for you and your wife, make sure you buy enough that you won’t cause a financial burden for your children when you need care.”

With over ten thousand Americans retiring every day, the long term care need is real and growing. Unfortunately, many consumer’s simply can’t see the forest for the trees, so it’s critical to illustrate the value of insurance in a way that addresses their needs and concerns. For many, it will be the best investment they ever made.

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New Long Term Care Insurance Policies Offer More Options

Americans are living longer than ever before and face the need of paying for expensive long term care at home, in assisted living, or a skilled nursing facility. Unfortunately, the cost of insurance is rising to an average of $2400 per year or more for a couple.

Since Medicaid is only available to consumers with low income and minimal assets and the wealthy can afford to pay for their own care, it’s those in the middle who have the most to lose if they don’t buy long term care insurance.

One of the biggest complaints among consumers about long term care insurance is that they may die without using their policy. As a result, new shared-care LTC policies allow spouses to share their long term care benefits. Hybrid linked-benefit long term care plans allow consumers to keep all their money if they don’t need care.

READ MORE: New Long Term Care Insurance Policies Offer More Options

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What Long Term Care Costs Where You Live

Survey results from a new study conclude that long term care costs in several categories have risen faster than inflation over the past year. At the same time, long term care insurance options are getting more complicated and expensive.

The 2012 long term care study provides the local cost for home healthcare, assisted living, and nursing homes. Key findings include:

  • National average daily rates for a private room in a nursing home costs $248 while a semi-private room costs $222 (up 3.8%)
  • National average monthly rate for assisted living costs $3,550
  • National average rate for adult daycare services costs $70
  • National average rate for home health aids remains $21/hr while homemaker hourly rates increased 5.3% to $20/hr

Go here to download a copy of the learn long term care costs where you live. (PDF)

Go here to download a copy of the long term care survey results. (PDF)

READ MORE: MetLife Mature Market Long Term Care Survey

Posted in Long Term Care, Long Term Care Costs, Long Term Care Insurance, MetLife | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on What Long Term Care Costs Where You Live