To me, understanding long term care insurance is like understanding Medicare. There are a lot of moving parts and you need an expert to help you navigate the process. My conversation with Honey Leveen, the self proclaimed “Queen of LTCi” really helped me get it. One of my take aways was that it is necessary to have long term care insurance; as much as you can afford. Some is better than none. Because with none, you are at the mercy of the government (Medicaid) or a burden on your children. And if you are honest with yourself, you don’t want either.
There are two different kinds of LTCi and many moving parts to a policy, which can be manipulated to help you get the best bang for your buck. You need to know that the earlier you plan, the cheaper this insurance can be for you. Children can also take out a policy for their parents.
A long term care policy is your (your parent’s) passport to dignity, options, and access to care when it becomes necessary. It can provide for comprehensive care FOR ALL CARE IN ALL SETTINGS, which includes in home care, not just medical facility based care like assisted living or nursing homes. And there are very defined triggers for when someone can qualify for benefits. If you have an expert help you navigate the process, you can minimize the challenges associate with making the right decision.
The sooner you sign up for a policy, the lower the premiums are. The average age of a purchaser is mid to late 50’s, but you need to consider that the longer you wait, the more likely you are to develop a medical condition that can affect your ability to qualify for coverage, or the rate at which you qualify.
Please talk to your parents and consider for yourself, what are the ramifications for my family if I don’t have a LTCi policy? And do some research on what Medicaid will cover. If you can get a Medicaid bed in a facility, do you want to be there? We have a generation of people about to retire and most will eventually need some kind of care. Be prepared. Many will be your parents. Are they/you ready?
Check out Honey’s website where you can also find links to her social media, for resources to help you understand. And reach out to her with questions or to help you obtain a policy for your parents or yourself.
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