• Will my children be able

    to afford the care I need?

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Population of Long Term Care Patients Increasing

The population of people needing long term health care services in the US – both in percentage and in sheer numbers – continues to increase. It has been for many years. Here are three reasons why.

1 – Baby boomers. The generation born in the years after World War II ended has reached senior status. There are more elderly than ever before, and they comprise a higher percentage of the total populace than ever before. These numbers mean that more and more people will need some form of long term care in their final years.

2 – Longer life. Between advances in medical science and improved general education about and attention to overall health, the average American’s life expectancy is longer than that of all previous generations. And the longer one lives, the more likely one is to require long term care at some point.

3 – Fewer caregivers. Longer lives also mean more widows and widowers. Without a spouse or significant other around to help with care, people are more likely to seek help at long term care facilities or hire in home nurses.  Also, many people are single in the first place, and many do not have adult children who are willing and able to provide care for their parents. Having fewer “built-in” family caregivers puts a greater burden – in time and in money – on other sources of long term care.

These and other factors (the rise of diabetes and obesity, for instance) combine to create a potential societal crisis around the provision of and payment for long term care. If across-the-board solutions are not forthcoming, it falls to individual families to deal with their own specific situations. That’s where long term care insurance comes in.

LTCI is a way for middle-income people to plan ahead, and apply for coverage that extends beyond what traditional health insurance covers. It can serve as a way to protect retirement savings, prepare for an uncertain future, and gain invaluable peace of mind. Experts are available to help consumers understand how it works, explore the many available options, and get down to the specifics of suitable policies and premiums. And sooner is better than later – we’re not getting any younger.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can
help them.

Reasons not to plan for LTC, ranked from bad to worse

Human beings are very, very good at rationalizing their behavior, both before and after it takes place.  Increasingly, many people are hearing about long term care insurance (LTCI), but deciding not to learn more about it, based on anything from a seemingly rational reason to various forms of denial to flat-out refusal to talk about it. Long term care insurance may not turn out to be right for every family – but having a plan for long term care certainly is.

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Choosing the Benefit Period for Your Long Term Care Insurance

How long is long term? Many consumers wonder how long is the appropriate length long term care benefits should last. The most popular benefit period 5 years ago was lifetime benefits and we are now discovering that for the vast majority of consumers, this is too long.

The most common purchased benefit period today is 3 years.  Why?  The average length of claim is 2.8 years and more than 90% of the time a claim doesn’t last more than 5 years.  Should a person find they need more than 3 years of help, they have bought a lot of time to financially prepare for more care. Continue reading

Three Parental Fears, One Practical Answer

Getting old is inevitable and if your parents are like most, they have at least three specific fears about the future.  Health.  Money.  Independence .

Fears about health

Maintaining good health, avoiding serious illness and injury, and providing for needed health care – including long term care – are almost certainly on the minds of your parents. No one wants to suffer, or become a burden on their family, or find themselves in circumstances that keep them of their desired quality of life. Continue reading

Planning for Retirement Healthcare: 3 Critical Components

Planning for the golden years means not just planning for what income is needed to retire but also what new additional costs may arise.  Studies show that many Americans have not considered the costs of healthcare in retirement and the impacts that these costs can have on outliving their money.   According to a 2014 Fidelity Investment article, the average retiree will spend a total of $220,000 for healthcare. Continue reading

Why Long Term Care Insurance Costs More for Women

Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

-Mark Twain

Most people know that women live longer than men on average.   According to a CIA 2014 study, women in the US have a life expectancy of 82 and men 77.  According to Time Magazine, Gertrude Weaver from Arkansas just celebrated her 116th birthday on July 4th as the oldest living American!  Living a long life has its advantages; but often times as we age, unfortunately, our health and mobility aren’t able to keep up. Continue reading

Will Medicare, Medicaid pay for Long Term Care?

No, and Yes.

Many Americans are surprised when they learn that Medicare generally does not cover long term care (LTC). They often learn this right after finding out that their regular health care insurance does not cover LTC either. (There are exceptions under certain policies in some states; consult your financial advisor or insurance agent to find out about coverage in your case.) Continue reading