Navigating Long-Term Care Insurance alone can be challenging. Between technical language and the lack of accurate information online, it's no wonder why some of us feel confused about coverage.
But luckily, there are professionals who can help. Today we'll explain who Long-Term Care Insurance specialists are and how they can help you or your loved one with LTC Insurance.
At LTC News, we work with long-term care experts to provide reliable long-term care planning information. We aim to make education accessible so everyone can make informed insurance and long-term care planning decisions.
In this FAQ article, we'll discuss what Long-Term Care Insurance specialists do and when it might make sense to meet with one. We'll also cover how to find a specialist and what the meeting process might look like.
What Is A Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist?
Long-Term Care Insurance specialists are trained and licensed professionals. They focus on helping individuals find the best coverage for their future long-term care needs.
Specialists have a deep understanding of the insurance products and underwriting criteria of each company they work with. Throughout this article, we’ll mention “products” and “underwriting” many times.
In this article, "products" means insurance policies or insurance offerings. Underwriting is a bit harder to define. It's a specific set of health guidelines companies use to decide whether or not to insure individuals.
Specialists use their expertise to help people learn about and plan for long-term care. Here is a list of roles a specialist may take on:
Educating and informing individuals and families about their options to pay for long-term care. Common options include LTC Insurance or life insurance with a qualified LTC rider or benefits. They may also recommend other long-term care-related products if the situation calls for it.
Evaluating the financial suitability of LTC Insurance for each individual they help. Specialists must determine that insurance makes sense for the individual's financial situation. If it doesn't, they'll help them explore alternative financial products.
Assessing people's needs based on their health and financial situation. Specialists evaluate personal situations to recommend the best coverage options. With enough information, they can also recommend specific products or insurance benefits.
Helping individuals and families with insurance applications and their future needs. Specialists can recommend the lowest-cost insurer that's most likely to approve an application. After the application, they can also help with appeals or claims.
This is just a brief list of what specialists can do. We'll include more detail on how they help individuals and families later in the article.
What Makes Long-Term Care Insurance Specialists Experts in Long-Term Care?
According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, there are about 500 specialists in LTC Insurance in the United States. However, only around 100 of these specialists work at a higher level.
High-level specialists work with multiple top-rated companies and sell many policies each year. Some specialists may help hundreds or thousands of people plan for long-term care each year.
Becoming a high-level specialist is a challenging task. These experts go through rigorous training to pass exams and get their licenses.
After getting their licenses, specialists and other licensed insurance agents must complete yearly training courses. This helps them stay up to date on the latest insurance information. Additionally, anyone selling policies in more than one state must complete specific training for each state yearly.
Ongoing training and experience give specialists a strong understanding of long-term care. It helps them differentiate between each company's products and underwriting. This expertise allows them to help you or your loved one create a long-term care plan.
How Can Meeting With A Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Help You or Your Loved One?
Today, the internet makes Long-Term Care Insurance information more accessible than ever. But it's important to remember that advice you read online that works for someone else may not always work for you or your loved one.
That's where specialists come in with specific, need-based recommendations. They'll take the time to understand your or your loved one's situation and create a catered plan. Specialists can also answer any questions about coverage with accurate and up-to-date information.
Meeting with a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist could help you or your loved one if:
You want to learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance.
You want accurate quotes from top-rated insurance companies.
You want professional and personalized recommendations.
You want to compare available product offerings for long-term care planning.
You want to apply for an LTC Insurance policy.
You need help filing a claim.
You want to review or have questions about your or your loved one’s policy.
Your premium is going up (learn more about why premiums increase).
Your or your loved one's LTC Insurance application has been declined.
Applying For Long-Term Care Insurance
A specialist can also help you or your loved one apply for the right Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Applying for LTC Insurance isn't necessarily hard, but you won't be able to apply without the right support. By law, every applicant needs the help of a licensed insurance agent who works directly with the company you wish to apply for.
You or your loved one will need this agent to process and sign off on the application to ensure the information is correct. Any adequately licensed insurance agent can guide you through the process. However, an LTC Insurance specialist can offer valuable insights about the policy you or your loved one will need.
Specialists will ensure you or your loved one signs up for the right policy with the benefits you want. They also know certain companies are more likely to insure people with specific health conditions.
This influences the specialist's recommendations so you or your loved one can apply for a policy you will most likely qualify for. They'll also look at your age, health, and family health history to help you get the best coverage at the lowest cost.
What Can You Expect From A Meeting With An LTC Insurance Specialist?
Let's say you or your loved one decides to meet with a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. What should you expect during your meeting?
In this section, we'll break down what the meeting process looks like. Keep in mind that each specialist may have a slightly different process than the one discussed below.
Finding A Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist
The first step to meeting with a specialist is finding one. Finding a good Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can be challenging.
Most of the time, you or your loved one will find and meet with a specialist online. If you choose to Google search for one, make sure to include "specialist" in the query.
However, you should be aware that any insurance agent can call themselves a specialist, even if they don't have the education to prove it. It's important to look for specialists who can back up their titles with experience and certifications.
It's also a good idea to ask how many people they've helped with Long-Term Care Insurance. Most specialists help hundreds of people each year and have helped thousands during their careers. This type of experience can benefit you when shopping for coverage.
LTC News also has a resource dedicated to finding and working with a specialist. This resource will take you to an information form where you can find licensed specialists. After you click the link, the form will ask you to fill out your email so you can get in touch with a specialist.
Setting Up A Meeting
After finding an LTC Insurance specialist, it's time to set up a meeting. Most specialists have emails, phone numbers, or contact forms you can fill out to get in touch.
After getting into contact, some specialists may reach out with a few preliminary questions. Asking questions before a meeting gives specialists a better idea of where you’re at and what resources they should prepare to help you.
Pre-meeting questions usually ask for general information to make the actual meeting as concise and easy as possible. However, each specialist works differently; some won’t ask any pre-meeting questions.
Long-Term Care Insurance specialists will never use your phone number or email for marketing purposes. They will strictly use your contact information for contact at predetermined times. All information shared with Long-Term Care Insurance specialists is confidential.
How Meetings Work
Specialists try to make their meetings as convenient as possible for everyone involved. Today, most meetings happen virtually, usually through video or phone calls. These virtual meetings make it easier than ever to meet with specialists.
Most virtual meetings involve a feature called "screen sharing." This is a unique process that allows you to speak with a specialist as you view their computer screen.
Screen sharing means you'll see what's on the specialist's computer screen. This does not mean they can control your screen; it only lets you view their screen.
You'll see them design a plan with quotes from each insurance company. When you start the application process, you can see the information the specialist adds in real time. Screen sharing can be helpful for visual learners and can help prevent mistakes during the application.
The idea of virtual meetings may feel scary at first. However, this is a safe and convenient way to learn more and meet with a specialist one-on-one. Virtual meetings offer the same benefits as traditional in-person meetings and more. The upside to virtual meetings is that you can meet from the comfort of your home anytime.
What You’ll Discuss During A Meeting
Meetings typically begin with the specialist introducing themselves. They'll also walk you through how they operate and how coverage works. Feel free to ask any questions about their experience and processes.
The next part of the meeting will focus on you. Your specialist may ask questions to help them better understand your goals, background, and coverage needs.
These questions can cover a range of topics, including:
Who are you, and what do you do for work or hobbies?
Do you have children, and if so, how are they planning to get involved in your future long-term care situation?
Where do you live & do you plan to relocate?
What do you already know about long-term care and Long-Term Care Insurance?
What are your long-term care needs and goals?
What is your health history and current health status? (surgeries, diagnoses, etc.)
What does your close family’s current and past health look like? (blood-related grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings.)
What’s your financial situation, and how will you fund your future or current retirement?
These questions help specialists understand your personal situation and determine suitability and insurability. It shapes your specialist's recommendations for Long-Term Care Insurance coverage.
Understanding your current and past health history and family history will help the specialist determine which company might fit your situation best, if any. Each insurance company has different guidelines for who they will and won't insure. Insurance companies also charge different prices based on their own underwriting guidelines and other factors.
Long-Term Care Insurance specialists know which companies are more likely to cover individuals with certain conditions. If you provide accurate information, they can recommend an insurance company that's most likely to cover you at the best price possible.
Specialists Can Help You or Your Loved One Find Personalized Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage
Long-Term Care Insurance specialists are licensed professionals who help people navigate long-term care. These experts complete yearly training to stay updated on insurance changes and be a stable resource to those in need.
Specialists can answer questions and offer accurate quotes. They can help with claims, applications, and servicing your policy. They'll take the time to understand your or your loved one's goals, needs, and budget to make personalized long-term care recommendations.
They offer valuable insights that can help you or your loved one make informed long-term care planning decisions. Ultimately, this will help save money and reduce the risk of paying too much or getting declined for coverage.
LTC News wants to help you find up-to-date information about long-term care and insurance. Here are a few more articles to help you with your search for care: