- DR. MARION'S METHOD
- CAREGIVER TRAINING
Long Term Care insurance
Biggest Challenge: Motivating mature Americans to seek education on the issue of long term care insurance.
Response from DM:
Long Term Care insurance (LTCi) is a topic that is often misunderstood. In general, people who require long-term care are not sick in the traditional sense, but instead, are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, getting in and out of bed, and walking.
Here are some eye-opening statistics from the Long Term Care insurance National Advisory Center:
- In 1994, 7.3 million Americans needed long term care (LTC) services at an average cost of nearly $43,800 per year.
- By 2000, this number increased to 9 million Americans at nearly $55,750 per year.
- The cost in 2010 was near $75,000 per year.
- By 2030 those needing LTC will increase to over 23 million Americans, with projected, individual long-term care costs reaching $300,000 annually.
It is my opinion that Long Term Care insurance should absolutely become a part of your insurance portfolio. As with other insurance policies, there are a variety of options available to suit your needs. Anyone over the age of 55 should consider purchasing one right away—the sooner the better, because it’s usually less expensive the earlier you begin coverage. Most people need to be educated regarding Long Term Care insurance, but I can’t tell you how many times my clients have benefited from having it, or suffered because they chose not to purchase it.
Long Term Care insurance rates are determined by six main factors: the person's age, the daily benefit, how long the benefits pay, the elimination (or waiting) period, inflation protection, and the health rating (preferred, standard, sub-standard). Another interesting statistic is that the average age of purchasers has dropped from 68-years-old in 1990 to 61-years-old in 2005.
Long Term Care insurance usually activates the moment the need is there. The particulars will obviously depend on your policy, but most cover home health care, assisted living, adult daycare, nursing homes and Alzheimer’s facilities. It will also pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, or private nurse. Some policies have a component that allows a geriatric care manager to do an initial assessment and then put that level of care in place. Some other policies offer a lump sum payment and allow you to spend it as you see fit.
So I suggest you be proactive, purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy, prepare for the worse, and hope you never need it. But also be comforted by the peace of mind knowing that if you do require help, you’ll be taken care of in your time of need.
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