Long Term Care Insurance: Coverage for Daily Care

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Anyone can need long term care. Whether you are a senior citizen or not, you may need long term care for any disability that renders you unable to take care of yourself for a considerable period of time. Long term care insurance helps you pay for services beyond medical care if you have any chronic illness.

Your long term care insurance coverage helps pay for services that would be very expensive to pay out of pocket then.

What is long term care insurance?

Long term care or ltc insurance covers the cost of services required beyond medical care. It is an ideal policy to have for those who suffer from a chronic illness. Since long term care can be really expensive, having a policy that covers for such care can be helpful when you need it.

When should you buy long term care insurance?

None of you would usually want to think about getting long term care because you may think this is something you will only need at old age. But the thing to remember and think about is that when you turn 70 or more (since that is the time you may think you have the highest risk of getting a chronic illness) you may be at too high a risk to be covered. Even if you do qualify, you may be given very high long term care rates.

The best time for you to buy long term care coverage would be middle age. That is the time when you will be highly eligible for coverage and premiums may be lower too. For more information click here.

Is long term care insurance right for you?

Long term care is expensive, hence, not everyone would think of getting it. But the increasing cost of health care, the restrictions on eligibility for coverage and the people's need to work more years for more savings makes getting long term care coverage a good idea.

You must choose your policy carefully and consider certain factors before settling for a plan. Before you buy a policy you must be sure that you can afford it. If buying a policy means lowering your standard of living, it is not worth it. Hence, an individual who is 65 may have to cough up $2000 - $3000 as yearly premiums. But if you get a policy at middle age the premiums may go lower than this.

What does long term care insurance cover?

Long term care health insurance usually covers assistance in performing your daily activities. Trained nurses or trained professionals help you in daily activities like bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, eating and also maintenance and continence. Check if the policy you are buying is giving you the care that you think you might need.

However, check the services that long term care insurance usually covers:
  • Health care services at home: Skilled care or custodial care by a licensed care giver or a home health agency must be covered. Physical therapy, assistance with daily activities and part-time skilled nursing care will be covered.

  • Nursing home services: Care in a licensed nursing facility should be covered.

  • Respite Care: Care to replace the primary caregivers and give them some relief/time off.

  • Home assistance services: Help with household activities and chores e.g. cooking, cleaning, light house keeping and shopping.

  • Assisted living services: Covers cost of care in an assisted living facility for 100% of your daily or monthly expenses.

  • Adult day-care services: Covers care in licensed adult day care. It is meant to provide day care to individuals who do not need to stay in a nursing home. Such care include nursing or therapeutic care, social as well as educational activities or personal supervision due to a cognitive impairment e.g. Alzheimer's disease.

  • Recovery period benefits: Care given after an individual has stayed in a hospital or any other facility.

How much should you pay for long term care insurance?

If you fall ill for a long time and need care usually one of your family members is the primary care giver. Hence, it does not always mean that if you need long term care you have to spend a lot of money on care. But again, such family members may also need a break from time to time and then you may need to hire professional help. This is the time when you may need to spend more money than you had imagined. However, what you pay for long term care depends on 3 factors:
  1. The general cost of long term care in your part of the country
  2. The cost for the specific services that you need
  3. The time for which you need the long term care

Are there any tips on saving on long term care?

Yes take a look at the 7 effective tips on saving on long term care:
  1. The most important thing to remember is to find out the financial status of the company you are buying coverage from. The company must be financially sound to be able to provide you the coverage when you need it.

  2. The amount of premium should be 7% of your income (expected income in retirement as suggested by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners).

  3. Try and get long term care benefits can be available through a group policy from your employer if possible. Employers may provide discounts on the premiums that you pay.

  4. Check from your insurance provider if you can purchase long term care benefits as a rider to your existing policy.

  5. Buying a policy with a longer waiting period can cut down the premium that you pay.

  6. If you are married and both of you are looking for a long term care insurance to buy, try to look for a joint policy for the two of you. With such a policy you can receive benefits when any one or even if both of you need care. The benefits received are also up to its benefits limits.

  7. Like all other policies, shop for your long term care insurance too. Compare benefits and price from different insurance providers before purchasing your policy. For more information click here.
As you grow old, your body is likely to break down. However, certain chronic illness and conditions do not wait for age to seep in. They can simply occur anytime and hence may render you unable to carry on your daily activities like eating, bathing and the like. This is when you may need long term care to assist you with your daily routine activities. Since long term care can be very expensive and since you cannot avoid it when you really need it, it is advisable that you get long term care insurance if you think you will need it in future.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:13 pm   Post subject: Buying Long Term Care Insurance  

Since the chances of most of us needing some type of long-term care are pretty great, when do you think we should take a serious look at buying Long Term Care Insurance?



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:55 am   Post subject:   

Good question. Rates don't increase too much until you are in your late 50s. Of course, the problem is that your health may change if you wait too long and you may not be able to qualify for coverage.



If you can afford it, try to pick up some basic coverage when you are in your earl to mid 50s. Pick a policy with an inflation guard and a rider giving you home AND facility coverages. (You may wish to be treated at home as opposed to a facility).



John Hancock has solid rates and coverage options. MetLife isn't bad either. It's best to check with a broker.



Of course...if you want to save a bunch...eat your vegetables and stay healthy and you'll never need LTHC!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:57 am   Post subject:   

I don't know if I am getting of course here, please tell me if I am but I think it all depends on our lifestyles and habits. A person who eats right, exercises and respects there body may be a younger older person, where people like me who smoke, drink a lot of coffee, don't watch what I eat, I would think for my best price I should start a lot younger, living an older younger person, healthwise I am okay, but I know that these habits can tear the body up, needing the care much sooner than someone who chooses differently. Does this make sense, feel like if I write more it will just confuse what I am trying to say.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:31 am   Post subject:   

The modern medicines and treatments have allowed us to live longer and healthier. The average life span of people have increased. But as we live long, we need to plan for a longer period of time. And this has made LTC somewhat important in our lives. I feel that there is no exact time to plan for the future, one may decide to start early, whereas, the other may decide to wait. Not only the individuals lifestyle and eating habits but his socio-economic position may also contribute to his need for the LTC.



The size of the aging population is increasing in the society, hence, rising the demand of the Long Term Care plans.The statistic has revealed that around 50% of the aging populating may require assistance-living of somesort in their lifetime.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:44 pm   Post subject:   

A study published by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation on the subject of Long Term Care Insurance indicates that 12.1 Million Americans need some type of assistance in carrying out the "Activities of Daily Living".



You may be surprised to know who actually needs Long Term Care:



Age 65 & older - 6.4 million - 53%



Age 18 to 64 - 5.3 million - 44%



Under 18 - 400,000 - 3%



Quote:
The modern medicines and treatments have allowed us to live longer and healthier.




This is exactly on target, but it could also mean that we might have the need for long term care when we are in our 90's.



Quote:
I don't know if I am getting of course here, please tell me if I am but I think it all depends on our lifestyles and habits.




Your are right to some degree, but that's not the entire story. In the study results I gave earlier, why do you think almost 6 Million people under the age of 64 might need long term care?



How about accidental injuries? Those who are seriously injured in accidents may require special care for the rest of their lives and most often this care cannot be provided at home.



Quote:
If you can afford it, try to pick up some basic coverage when you are in your earl to mid 50s.




Why wait so long? Why not while we are in our 40's or 30's? At this point in our lives, we will probably be in the best health condition in which we will ever be and the insurance rates will be low.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:48 am   Post subject:   

Some additional points:



The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.



By 2050, the number of individuals using paid long-term care services in any setting (e.g., at home, residential care such as assisted living, or skilled nursing facilities) will likely double from the 13 million using services in 2000, to 27 million people. This estimate is influenced by growth in the population of older people in need of care.



Of the older population with long-term care needs in the community, about 30% (1.5 million persons) have substantial long-term care needs (three or more ADL limitations). Of these, about 25% are 85 and older and 70% report they are in fair to poor health.



40% of the older population with long-term care needs are poor or near poor (with incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level).



Between 1984 and 1994, the number of older persons receiving long-term care remained about the same at 5.5 million people, while the prevalence of long-term care use declined from 19.7% to 16.7% of the 65+ population. In comparison, 2.1%, or over 3.3 million, of the population aged 18–64 received long-term care in the community in 1994.



None of this will make a difference unless we keep our eyes focused on certain terrorist states, such as Syria and Iran. OK...that last one was just my opinion and not part of a study. I wonder if anybody will notice...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:22 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Why wait so long? Why not while we are in our 40's or 30's? At this point in our lives, we will probably be in the best health condition in which we will ever be and the insurance rates will be low.




If you can sell a LTC to people in their 30's I'd love to know your techniques. I have a hard enough time pitching HSA's and life insurance to that crowd. 40+ is a different ballgame...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:52 pm   Post subject:   

Hi salpro22 and Welcome to the Community!



Quote:
I have a hard enough time pitching HSA's and life insurance to that crowd. 40+ is a different ballgame...




Wow, I don't know where to start here. First of all I can share with you from many years of experience - if your prospect feels that you are "pitching" anything, they will probably have very little interest in what you have to say.



Sorry, but I don't see an insurance career as a "ballgame".



Once we understand that we are helping people make the most important decisions of their lives, people will listen to what we have to say.



As far as long term care insurance on 30-40-year-olds, I have them in businesses under group plans.



You can do it, but it has to be more personal. Laughing


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:49 pm   Post subject:   

A healthy 50-year-old could purchase good coverage for $1,365 a year. For a 73-year-old, the same policy might cost $6,300 a year. This four-year coverage would include a 90-day deductible, $200 per day in coverage (for home health care or nursing home care), and a simple inflation rider -- all on a policy from a top-rated company.



One of the carriers I frequently use for medical coverage, Golden Rule, has an Insurances Asset-Care plan that requires a single premium, one-time deposit of cash into a policy. The company will either guarantee a minimum rate of interest or offer a variable choice of investments inside the life policy. It provides at least 50 months of long-term care benefits. You can buy extended coverage. The downsides of the policy: its expensive, and some people dont have the cash to make the upfront deposit.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:23 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Wow, I don't know where to start here. First of all I can share with you from many years of experience - if your prospect feels that you are "pitching" anything, they will probably have very little interest in what you have to say. Sorry, but I don't see an insurance career as a "ballgame"




Thanks for the tips. I do agree with you about perception being important, but I must warn you you're not exactly talking with somebody who only took "The Psychology of Prospects 101." I was using the term "pitching" as a way to further explore the discussion and interject a common sales term amongst sales professional. I was NOT using it as way to explicate my personal sales theories or applications and I don't appreciate the condescension.



Furthermore, I don't appreciate your smug behavior about my personal character and how my clients feel and think about me. You have no right to judge me and if there is an issue about something you can act like a professional and PM me instead of verbally attacking me in a open forum. Apparently your extensive experience hasn't taught you some basic communication skills, as well as the intelligence and awareness to NEVER assume anything without clarifying first.



If you have an issue with me then feel free to e-mail or PM me as I don't take kindly to ANYBODY judging my professionalism WITHOUT knowing the facts.



Lastly, don't give me the "most important decision in their lives" comment as that makes the rest of us look bad... and my generation will be the ones who have to follow in your footsteps and clean up the mess.



Insurance agents are professionals who help people how to properly manage risk using a variety of insurance products and we monitor our clients financial well-being to ensure their protected.



Purchasing insurance is very important, but it's not the MOST important decision.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:27 am   Post subject:   

The previous message was posted by me. For some odd reason this forum logged me out.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:48 pm   Post subject:   

Hi salpro22,



In looking at this Insurance Community as a whole, we can see "Members" and "Guests" from all types of backgrounds. There are those here who are very knowledgeable about all types of insurance, some just life or health insurance, others who are experts in insurance claims, insurance fraud, and still there are others who have no expert knowledge about insurance at all, but want to learn.



It is quite difficult sometimes to determine "who" is "who".



This topic concerned Long Term Care Insurance, so maybe your last post and this one should be moved to the "Pub", because we are seriously off topic, but I will let the moderator make that decision.



I would like to attempt to answer your concerns and maybe explain to you why my post to your comments may have appeared to be

"condescending".



Quote:
If you can sell a LTC to people in their 30's I'd love to know your techniques. I have a hard enough time pitching HSA's and life insurance to that crowd. 40+ is a different ballgame...




You seem to have been questioning an insurance agent's ability to market Long Term Care Insurance to people in their 30's, just because you had difficulty with it. As you probably already know, we, as insurance agents must always take a close look at our "sales" and "marketing" techniques and if what we are doing isn't working, we must look for ways to change.

I, personally, have never used the term "pitching" in describing an insurance sales presentation, maybe it's just an age difference thing.



Quote:
Furthermore, I don't appreciate your smug behavior about my personal character and how my clients feel and think about me.




I certainly can't comment on your "personal character" because I don't know you. I also have no idea about your client's feelings.



Quote:
Apparently your extensive experience hasn't taught you some basic communication skills, as well as the intelligence and awareness to NEVER assume anything without clarifying first.




Again, you appear to be questioning another insurance agent's professionalism and abilities, as well as, making assumptions.



Quote:
If you have an issue with me then feel free to e-mail or PM me as I don't take kindly to ANYBODY judging my professionalism WITHOUT knowing the facts.




The only issue I have with anyone in this insurance forum is to do whatever I can to provide useful information regarding questions and concerns about insurance related topics and to help this Insurance Community grow. I would also like to help those who are thinking about entering the insurance field to make that very important decision.

I do not "judge" people, even after I know the "facts".



Quote:
Lastly, don't give me the "most important decision in their lives" comment as that makes the rest of us look bad... and my generation will be the ones who have to follow in your footsteps and clean up the mess.




Quote:
Purchasing insurance is very important, but it's not the MOST important decision.




You are absolutely right, we have made a mess of things and I think the biggest reason for this "mess" is that most people won't stand up for their personal beliefs. But don't you think that making plans to guarantee that our families can enjoy the same standard of living after we're gone could be the "most important decision of their lives"?



My comments were not to offend you and if I did, I apologize.



I would hope that we could reserve the right to disagree, but still work together in this Insurance Community.



Maze


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:38 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
You seem to have been questioning an insurance agent's ability to market Long Term Care Insurance to people in their 30's, just because you had difficulty with it. As you probably already know, we, as insurance agents must always take a close look at our "sales" and "marketing" techniques and if what we are doing isn't working, we must look for ways to change.

I, personally, have never used the term "pitching" in describing an insurance sales presentation, maybe it's just an age difference thing.




Unfortunately, writing on a forum does have the disadvantage of not allowing people to hear or see the person they're talking with. I should have been clearer. My goal was not to question your ability to sell insurance because I have no basis for such a comment, nor do I personally care since I do not consider you to be my competition.



I did, however, wish to learn what market you're targeting and understand "how" you sell that particular product because I'm always open to learning from other insurance agents.



For the record, I DO NOT sell LTC, but I have friends who do and they all tell me it's more difficult than what I do. From limited knowledge about all the facets of selling that product I'd agree with them. I have no desire or passion to sell LTC at this juncture.



I believe in specializing and it's hard enough to keep up to date on Health, Life and Medicare, so I don't need the hassle of learning another product when I can easily refer a prospect or client to another agent who has the experience selling LTC and has agreed with me about referral compensation. That doesn't mean I'm going turn down the opportunity to learn more about what other agents enjoy selling.





Quote:
Again, you appear to be questioning another insurance agent's professionalism and abilities, as well as, making assumptions.




I question anyone's professionalism when I feel attacked. This might have been avoided if I went into further detail when I originally posted my message or you simply said, "I work with XXX...this is my approach" how do you approach things?" Instead, you choose words that conveyed to me you were preaching, instead of finding ways to express information that facilitates the conversation.



I understand the need to keep business matters private, but since I do not consider you a threat to my business, I could care less about sharing some information if it benefits the community.



As such, I responded in kind to the assumptions I felt you had made about me. This is clearly a lack of communication and understanding on both are parts.



Quote:
The only issue I have with anyone in this insurance forum is to do whatever I can to provide useful information regarding questions and concerns about insurance related topics and to help this Insurance Community grow. I would also like to help those who are thinking about entering the insurance field to make that very important decision.

I do not "judge" people, even after I know the "facts".




I'm glad to hear that. We seem to be on the same page on this issue.



Quote:
You are absolutely right, we have made a mess of things and I think the biggest reason for this "mess" is that most people won't stand up for their personal beliefs. But don't you think that making plans to guarantee that our families can enjoy the same standard of living after we're gone could be the "most important decision of their lives"?





I'm sure we could go into a 100 page debate about the psychology of why people do or do not do things, but that would take an inordinate amount of time. I will say that I agree with you about the importance of making sure families are protected. Your comment, "enjoy the same standard of living after we're gone" makes me think about the importance of life insurance and not LTC. That's just a matter of semantics, but I do understand your perspective.



Quote:
My comments were not to offend you and if I did, I apologize.




I appreciate your apology and accept it. I'm more than open to helping out the forum based on my personal and professional experience. I'm originally from Jersey and probably still have a bit of the "Jersey Attitude" in me at times. I apologize If I offended you.



-J.R.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:53 pm   Post subject:   

OK, J.R., hopefully we've cleared things up a bit, so let's talk about Long Term Care Insurance.



I have conducted several seminars at Assisted Living Facilities, obviously not for the resident's benefit, but for the benefit of the families.



After all who knows best about the need for LTC insurance than those who are spending thousands of dollars on it?



Most family members are very receptive to the idea of funding LTC for themselves through a sound insurance program. And yes, I have sold many LTC policies to people under the age of 45. The premium is reasonable and if husband and wife both purchase LTC at the same time, there is an attractive discount for both.



I also work LTC through the "group benefits" market. Most employers don't even realize that they can offer "Group Long Term Care Insurance".

It's a novelty in most businesses.



I think more people should look into LTC insurance, because, more than likely, most of us are going to need it in some form.



Maze



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:55 pm   Post subject:   

Do you only specialize in selling LTC or are you selling other insurance products?



It seems like you have a good handle on places to discuss LTC. I recently came across life-line.org and I found their information packets and videos educational. Do you work videos in your presentation or follow the traditional power point speech?

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