​Do your clients really need long-term care insurance?Article added by Anna Giambattista on January 20, 2014

Anna Giambattista

Hartford, CT

Joined: July 12, 2013

My Company

Futurity First

Take a look at long-term care insurance from the eyes of your clients. They, like almost everyone else, will see a future with years of well-being and a happy, healthy, active retirement. Unless they have a debilitating illness or accident, they may not even give long-term care a thought until they are much older.

But let’s look at the facts:

If costs increase at 4.1 percent per year, the average cost of care in 30 years would be $250,000 a year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

At least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lives. (HHS)

The national average for 24-hour home care or one year in a nursing home can cost more than $75,000 today, and can run even higher in some states. (John Hancock Cost of Care Survey)

Awareness and knowledge is the key for communicating with clients. If a chronic illness, disability or cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s Disease leaves them unable to care for themselves for an extended period of time, long-term care may be required. Whether it’s delivered in a nursing home, hospice facility or even in their own home, this level of care can be expensive; and the cost is rising every day.

What are your clients’ options?

Medicare pays only for short periods of care, typically up to 100 days. And the average stay in a nursing home is 2.4 years, according to The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Medicaid usually pays for low-income patients and only in mandated nursing home facilities; they lose the right to choose where they're cared for, and by whom. Personal assets can be quickly eaten up, including savings and retirement plans, leaving no legacy behind for loved ones. Family members may assume the burden of care at the risk of their own financial, physical and emotional well-being.

Long-term care insurance can give individuals control and peace of mind. Ask your clients: Where will you find the money to pay for the care that you need without draining your family’s life savings or your retirement accounts? Purchasing long-term care insurance now gives them control over future health care decisions, including where they go for care. Many policies also cover assisted living, adult daycare and other care in the community, alternate care, and respite care for the caregiver.

If they are employed full-time, employers may already offer some kind of long-term care insurance. You can show your clients these types of options and help them understand which options are best for them. But in this case, it’s important to be sure that employer options will be enough to cover the cost of this level of care, should they ever need it.

If they don't want the details, what do you say? A good summary to a client could look like this:
    The cost of long-term care insurance is based on age and health when you apply, as well as the additional benefits you select on your policy. As a result, the annual premium that you would pay for a policy bought today may be significantly lower than what you would pay for a comparable policy purchased at an older age, or if your health declines.
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