Often people think they should involve or work with a financial advisor to plan for long-term care and the financial costs and burdens of aging. On the surface, it makes sense. Since long-term care expenses adversely impact income and lifestyle, Long-Term Care Insurance is a way to safeguard savings and preserve income in addition to reducing the stress and burdens otherwise placed on your family. However, most financial advisors and general insurance agents don't have the knowledge and expertise when it comes to long-term care.
The problem is many advisors provide poor recommendations as they lack product and underwriting knowledge. This lack of knowledge can dramatically affect the premium and the benefits available when you need them at the time of claim.
LTC Specialists Generally Work with Multiple Top Companies
Most financial advisors and general insurance agents only work with one or two insurance companies. Most specialists work with all or most of the top insurance companies that offer long-term care solutions.
Since most financial advisors and general insurance agents have limited product availability and knowledge, they can not properly shop for the best coverage at the best value based on your specific age, health, and goals.
Underwriting criteria differs with each company. Many companies today will not accept a person who has been previously declined by another company, so making the right decision to start with is very important.
LTC Specialists Will Ask Detailed Questions About Health & Finances
Generally, financial advisors or general insurance agents don't ask enough health and family history questions to make the proper pre-underwriting decisions. A Long-Term Care specialist will spend a lot of time asking these, sometimes very personal, but vital questions.
Another area of concern is most financial advisors, and general insurance agents don't understand the Long-Term Care Partnership Program's power, which is available in most states.
Long-Term Care Insurance specialists will make the right policy design recommendations based on your specific situation. You don't want to spend more money than you need. Often, a financial advisor or general insurance agent will make recommendations that are either too much benefit or not enough.
Company Selection and Policy Design Huge Factors
Remember, Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed based on many factors, including your age, health, and family history. Premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same benefits. It is essential to use a specialist to obtain the right coverage at the best value.
Some insurance agents also call themselves "specialists" when they are not. While they may "specialize" in this area, often they have little real experience. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a national education and advocacy group, suggests that you work with an individual who represents multiple top insurance companies and has at least 100 clients they have helped with a policy.
Often, an experienced specialist may have over 1000 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance. It is the number of clients that is key to the experience, not the number of years. You can find a Long-Term Care specialist by clicking here.
Once your policy is approved, your specialist can send your policy's "policy schedule page" to your financial advisor if you wish them to have details on your policy.
LTC Insurance is Regulated
Each state regulates insurance rates. Every agent or financial advisor uses the same "rates" that an individual company has approved with the state for a particular product. This means you can't get "a special deal" from one person instead of another. The difference will be in the underwriting class they are quoting, and the policy design they recommend.
Finally, while Long-Term Care Insurance is a financial product designed to protect your saving and income from the expensive costs of long-term care services and supports, these policies are really much more than that.
The issue of long-term care is both a cash flow problem and a family problem. The right plan will give your family the time to be family and not have to deal with the full responsibility of caregiving or to manage paid caregivers. The policy resources give you access to your choice of quality care options giving both you and your loved ones peace-of-mind. In the end, Long-Term Care Insurance is all about family.
LTC Specialist May Not Be Local - That's OK
Usually, the insurance company is not nearby. Nor will your Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. The specialist's location will not matter; it is their skill and experience that are essential to help you plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging.
Most specialists will easily be able to review your situation on the phone. Some specialists will allow you to see their computer screen on your device.
However, be sure the specialist is actually a specialist. Make sure they work with multiple top companies. Ask them if they have claims experience. Be sure the person is licensed in your state and certified with the state partnership program. Then, and only then, can you enjoy the peace-of-mind that comings with a long-term health care plan.