• Mary Sizemore

Common Questions regarding Long-Term Care Insurance

March will be my 25th year in the long-term care insurance market. Several of my clients have been impacted by a family member or friend that has needed long-term care services. While being a caregiver is very rewarding, it can deplete your finances and cause an emotional and physical toll. This is why I encourage my friends and clients to consider a plan for their long-term care.

Here are some common questions that we are frequently asked:

Is Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCi) affordable? YES! Policies can be designed around any budget. Our usual rule of thumb is if you have $250,000-$3 million dollars saved for retirement, you should consider LTCi.

Do I have to go to a Nursing Home? NO! LTCi gives you the freedom of choice! Home Health Care, Adult Day Care and Assisted living facilities are covered along with Nursing Facilities.

Can my family be paid to take care of me? YES! Some policies provide a cash feature. You can access part of your benefit in cash and use it however you want!

Will Medicare pay for long-term care? NO! Medicare pays for skilled nursing care for a short period of time – if you meet their criteria such as, a qualifying hospital stay.

Is Medicaid available to me? MAYBE! But, qualifying for Medicaid is based on state and federal income and asset guidelines. In many states, you will have to spend-down most of your assets to qualify. If you are considering this route, it is best to meet with an Elder Attorney that can guide you through this qualification process.

Why should I consider this now? LTCi is priced by age and health. You are the youngest and hopefully, most healthy that you will be - right now!

Will a family history of Alzheimer’s or Dementia affect my rate? The answer is sometimes. Some carriers consider family history more stringently than others. If you have a family history, let’s discuss which plan is right for you.

Do rates increase? The rates for traditional long-term care insurance may go up over time. The rates on a hybrid long-term care insurance policy are guaranteed to remain level.

Is there any benefit to my estate, upon death, if I don’t use the policy? For a traditional long-term care insurance policy, some carriers offer a return of premium. With a hybrid long-term care insurance policy, this feature can be built in.

How long will the policy pay benefits? This differs from carrier to carrier however, benefit periods are often 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, and Unlimited

With advances in medicine and technology, we are living longer – that does not mean that we are living without the need for care. As our age goes up, the need for assistance rises as well. A long-term care event affects your whole family – spouse, children, extended family and friends – long-term care insurance is the gift of care for your family!

This is why Long-Term Care Insurance is so important!

For more information on the plans available in your state, please contact our marketing team at 1-800-945-1953.

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