Today's consumers will benefit from the policy enhancements available today with qualified Long-Term Care Insurance policies. With Generation X and the Late-Boomers headed toward retirement in huge numbers, the concern about the rapidly growing costs of long-term health care keeps consumers and their advisors up at night.
Enhancements available with today's Long-Term Care Insurance benefit consumers and their families. Policies today offer various inflation benefits to keep up with the growing costs of long-term health care services. Years ago, consumers only had a few options; today, the plans are very customizable, making them affordable for more people.
Today's LTC Insurance Has Many Affordable Options
Jesse Slome, the executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a national consumer education and advocacy, says that today's Long-Term Care insurance policies are dramatically different from those sold a few years ago.
Take the inflation growth option which can double or triple the cost of protection. Newer plans offer greater options that will save the consumer money and, at the same time, give them the flexibility to increase their insurance coverage in future years.
The consequences COVID-19 had on long-term health care were on our TV screens. Today, more people are aware of the impact aging, and long-term care can have on our families and finances. People today understand the importance of quality care options outside traditional nursing homes. However, the costs of long-term health care are escalating nationwide.
We are seeing a greater interest in long-term care planning and the newer policy enhancements will benefit many people.
Long-Term Health Care Costs are Up Sharply
The financial impact of long-term care costs can dramatically affect an individual or couple's lifestyle and legacy. Few people are prepared to add an additional bill of $6000 to 8000 a month to their budget.
Most people would expect nursing homes to be expensive, but in=home care, adult day care centers, and assisted living facility costs are increasing as well. Few people have a budget line for these costs unless they own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator illustrates the financial problem that long-term health care expenses will have on your budget. The cost of care services varies depending on where you live, and the type of services you require - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Partnership LTC Insurance - Secret No Longer
Most states participate in the Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program. Those individuals who own a qualified Partnership LTC policy can shelter part of their estate based on the amount of benefits paid out by your policy. The partnership program is one of the biggest secrets in the retirement planning industry - What is a Long-Term Care Partnership Policy? | LTC News.
There are additional consumer benefits available with today's Long-Term Care Insurance. Shared spousal policies are available, which add additional flexibility. Couples can combine their benefits and more efficiently protect their assets at a lower cost.
Couples can also receive discounts just for being married or for being in a committed relationship - even if the other partner does not own a policy.
This is significant because the couples or partner discount reduces policy costs for a couple but often one spouse has health issues that prevents them from obtaining LTC coverage.
LTC Insurance is Custom Designed
Long-Term Care Insurance plans are custom designed. The policyholder gets to choose the level of benefits within the policy. For example, let's say you will retire with a defined pension plus social security. Your income is guaranteed for life. You could design an LTC Insurance policy with smaller monthly benefits.
With this type of policy design, you would use part of your retirement income and your LTC Insurance benefits to pay for your future care. Your premium will be lower, but you maintain asset protection and ensure you can access quality care options, including care at home.
Don't forget that long-term care is more than just about money. The consequences for your family can be life-altering for them. Instead of being caregivers, your loved ones will have the time to be family. Instead of managing professional care providers, the LTC Insurance policy's case management benefit helps them find quality care and develop an appropriate care plan.
What Happens If You Never Need Long-Term Care?
Yet some consumers ask the question, what happens if I never need long-term health care? What happens to all that money? Today's Long-Term Care Insurance offers options for those people with that concern.
Return of premium options are available from some insurance companies. The return of premium option will return the premiums you paid to your estate if you are lucky enough to never need long-term health care.
Hybrid policies that combine life insurance or annuities with a qualified rider for long-term care offer both a death and a long-term care benefit. Actual hybrid policies meet federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of U.S. Code, meaning that consumer protections, tax benefits, and regulated triggers mandated by federal law are included.
This provides consumers with the 'if you don't use it, you don't lose it' benefit that makes buying the policy more attractive especially to those in their 50s.
Plus, most states have rate stability guidelines that make the risk of premium increases in the future small.
Most of us are aware that at some point, our health will decline, and we will need help with daily living activities or require supervision due to dementia. The cost of care is expensive and getting more costly. Health insurance and Medicare pay little to nothing toward long-term care services. Medicaid will only pay if you have little or no income or assets.
Today's Long-Term Care Insurance, custom-designed to fit your needs and budget, will protect your income and assets. It will also reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on those you love.
Plus, you will have peace of mind knowing you will always have access to quality care options without being dependent on loved ones.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
Being prepared for aging and declining health has become crucial for retirement planning. How you will fund your retirement, where you will live, and how you address the costs and burdens of longevity must be planned.
Long-term health care costs are soaring, and even those with substantial savings can find cash flow difficult when paying for long-term care services. Inflation, recession, and labor shortages all play into the problem.
Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to address these concerns. An LTC policy will provide you with guaranteed, tax-free benefits that will give you access to your choice of quality care services - even in-home care.
You avoid being dependent on your family, and your loved ones gain the time to remain family members instead of caregivers.
Maintain your lifestyle and legacy and give peace of mind to everyone by adding a Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement plan. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.
Seek Professional Help Planning for Long-Term Care
Many insurance and financial professionals could attempt to help you with long-term health care planning, but few have the expertise in this complicated area.
Most experts suggest working with a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist representing the top insurance companies. There are very few specialists around, but most help consumers in multiple or all states.
A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price.
Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Leading specialists have substantial experience and often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.
Remember, Long-Term Care Insurance premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies, and most specialists will be able to shop all the top companies.
A specialist will save you money. You will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Multiple Resources and Planning Tools Available on LTC NEWS
When you plan for future long-term health care, there are many things to think about. Plus, various options are available that provide long-term care solutions.
Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier. LTC NEWS offers various tools and resources to simplify the planning process. Whether you are planning for your retirement or seeking care options for an older parent, LTC NEWS has what you are seeking.
Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions.
One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.
LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Finding Help for Mom or Dad
If your mom or dad or another loved one needs help now or is headed in that direction, you can make this family crisis easier by first reviewing the many guides that LTC NEWS has published.
We have put together several thorough guides to help you in your process.
Start by reading our four guides -
If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
Get Help with Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim
Many insurance companies have issued Long-Term Care Insurance policies over the years. Filing a claim can sometimes be complicated unless you know what to do or get expert help and assistance.
Don't allow the claim process to stop you from using the benefits available in an LTC policy. Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care.
If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help. LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work - free with no obligation.
Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Advantages of Reverse Mortgages
For those aged 62 and older, today's reverse mortgages could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance. You might be eligible at younger ages as well.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, and even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. Mike Banner, LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew," will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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