Independent Long-Term Care Insurance Agents
What most people do not realize when they enter the Medicare system is that it will not provide coverage for custodial care in a nursing home. If that was common knowledge, most people would have already considered and purchased a comprehensive policy with the help of a Long-Term Care Insurance independent insurance agent.
Imagine This Long-Term Care Scenario
Sarah recently visited her elderly Aunt Betty at a long-term care facility. On the drive home, Sarah began to wonder what her life might be like once she reached her twilight years. She asked herself these two questions:
“The staff at the long-term care facility was very friendly and accommodating and the facility was warm and inviting, but it seems like a very expensive place to stay. How much does it cost each month to live there?”
“What are the chances that I will end up spending a significant amount of time at a long-term care facility like Aunt Betty?”
Let’s answer each of these two questions for Sarah:
- In 2010 the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance published the following costs: Home Health Aide -- $21/hour, Assisted Living Community -- $37,200/year – Nursing Home/Private Room -- $80,300/year.
- According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 60 percent of all families have faced the need for long-term care in a nursing home.
After learning this information, Sarah is now considering the purchase of long-term care insurance for herself, for the following reasons:
- She wants to be able to pass along her assets to her children and grandchildren, rather than have them depleted by long-term care costs. She also does not want her spouse to be burdened with such expenses. “$37,000 to $80,000 a year would be a lot of money to lose,” Sarah admitted.
- She wants to be able to choose her nursing home. “I’d like to spend my time in a nice facility, like the one in which Aunt Betty lives,” Sarah says. “I’ve visited elderly relatives in other long-term care facilities that didn’t look as nice. I don’t want the government making the choice for me. Long-term care insurance will give me the financial freedom to choose for myself.”
What You Need To Know About Long-Term Care Insurance
According to Ralph Nader who co-authored Winning the Insurance Game, below are four key questions to ask when considering the purchase of long-term care insurance:
- Are pre-existing conditions excluded? - No, but a pre-existing conditions exclusion can require a long waiting period before benefits will be payable for any long-term care required.
- Is there an Alzheimer’s disease exclusion? - Alzheimer’s disease is the fourth leading cause of death among adults in the country and is covered by most Long-Term Care coverage. Ask your agent for help comparing policies.
- Must there be a prior hospitalization before benefits kick in? Not necessarily. According to Consumers Union, 60 percent of all nursing home placements occur without a prior hospitalization.
- What are the time limits of coverage? The longer you have the coverage, the better-protected you are against the bankruptcy potential of long-term care. Many people have found it advantageous to buy Long-Term Care insurance at younger ages. People in the twenties, thirties and forties find it easier to qualify and have the coverage at a low rate to protect against loss. Young people do have health problems that can result in the need for Long-Term care.
As you can see, Sarah is wise to consider the financial implications of her future on her family. She made an appointment to ask these four questions and to discuss her long-term care coverage with her independent insurance agent.
Your insurance needs and laws are complex. Coverage varies wildly from company to company. Laws are vastly different from state to state. Your independent long-term care insurance agent knows the laws and companies that provide coverage options. Don't try to handle your insurance without an agent you trust.