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The Doctor Is in the House: What to Tell Consumers


Everyone who gets the need for long-term care (LTC) planning has a different approach to explaining the need to people who are still not all too familiar with the concept.

Marion Somers, Ph.D., a veteran geriatric care manager who believes passionately about the need for LTC planning and long-term care insurance (LTCi), helped organizers of the 3in4 Need More LTC outreach effort   in the summer of 2011 by driving a 3in4 Need More promotional bus around the country.

Somers, known in the LTC community as Doctor Marion, will be returning to the driver's seat this spring for the 3in4 Association's spring LTC outreach bus tour.

Here is a preliminary version of what Doctor Marion plans to say when she stops to talk to consumers, local reporters and others about her views on LTC planning.

It is important to understand the benefits of long term care insurance (LTCi) and how it can be used to help protect your family and finances. Most people envision themselves living a long life, investing and planning throughout their working years to create a financially secure feature where they can enjoy spending time doing the things they enjoy the most. As part of your financial planning process, it’s important to understand the potential impact that needing long-term care may have on your assets, your family, and your future.

First of all, long-term care can cost $50,000 to $100,000 a year. In 30 years, the annual cost may be as much as $250,000. Also, Medicare and traditional health insurance do not pay for long-term care. Without an LTCi policy, you are essentially “self insuring” your risk of paying for care. While wealthy individuals may have the financial means to cover their costs for care, this is not a viable strategy for the majority of people. Whether people overestimate their ability to pay for care over an extended period, or convince themselves that they won’t need care, the risk of needing and paying for care remains.

Waiting to address your future care needs – until the point at which you actually need care – may significantly impact your financial situation, your quality of life, and your ability to maintain your independence. Incorporating LTCi into your financial plan can help protect your assets, reduce the burden of care that would otherwise fall on family members, and enable you to receive care in your preferred setting.

I suggest you be proactive, purchase a long term care insurance policy, prepare for the worst, 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.

About the Author

Marion Somers

Marion Somers

Marion Somers, Ph.D., is a geriatric care manager and a spokesman for the 3in4 Need More long-term care planning education program. The program is organized by the 3in4 Association

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