How to help your clients get the most out of their long-term care coverageArticle added by Frank N. Darras on May 8, 2014
Frank N. Darras

Frank N. Darras

Ontario, CA

Joined: February 18, 2010

My Company

DarrasLaw

The baby boomer generation faces the daunting task of wading through long-term care (LTC) issues. Do your clients need it? And when do they buy it? LTC isn’t just for older people; it is also an important discussion for younger consumers. Because LTC policies tend to be less expensive when purchased by younger persons, it is a worthwhile conversation to start now.

As an experienced agent, you should be able to evaluate any imbalances within your client’s insurance policies. Customize which policies specifically work for them, including life insurance, home and automobile insurance and also long-term care coverage. Both you and your clients benefit when all their insurance needs help them to save money, while providing them the best insurance options.

Who needs a long-term care insurance policy? As you consider your clients' income, health and assets, it may or may not be in their best interest to purchase LTC. Many of your clients, however, will benefit from long-term care coverage because it will help them protect their assets for their beneficiaries, including charitable organizations, if they plan on donating their savings upon their death.

Do your clients currently have enough income to pay the premiums for a policy? If not, you may want to advise them on the possibility of Medicaid. Familiarize yourself with the Medicaid partnership program. You can thoroughly discuss how a long-term care insurance policy and Medicaid can work together.

Is there any family history of medical conditions or health problems? If so, they should buy a policy as soon as they can to avoid expensive premiums or alleviate the insurance company turning down their application based on age or adverse health. As you are aware, premiums can get more expensive as you get older, so advise your client about the best time to buy a policy.

Another important topic to discuss with your clients is how to handle inflation, with regards to their benefits. With costs continuing to rise, if your client chooses to only buy $5,000 per month, the chances of that covering all their LTC expenses is fairly slim. One option is to tie benefits to increases with the consumer price index. Another option is to tack on a 5 percent compound interest annual adjustment. Look at every potential option available in order to figure out the best solution for all your client’s needs.

Finally, make sure they know you are accessible to answer any and all questions regarding their long-term care policies. You are the one with the most knowledge to help guide them with these important decisions. If your clients don’t need a long-term care policy today, it’s beneficial to keep them informed about all of their other insurance options.

Sources:

U.S. News
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
AARP
NPR
The Wall Street Journal
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