Long-Term Care

March 11, 2015 by No Comments

The need for long-term care can be a devastating strain on a family; emotionally, physically, and financially. Many people are shocked to discover the number of Americans who may require long-term care, if current trends continue (70% people over age 65 will require LTC ¹). It makes financial sense to develop a strategy for protecting yourself, and your family, from this risk. At Coomes Insurance & Financial, we specialize in this market, and truly believe in the value of long-term care insurance, especially for individuals and families who desire protection of their assets during their pre and post retirement years. Our goal is to educate our clients about the benefits of this insurance, and provide our expertise in finding the best coverage possible for your unique needs. Being completely independent of any specific insurance company, we are able to shop a variety of HIGHLY rated companies and offer you the most affordable and reliable insurance!

What is Long Term Care?

Long-term care (LTC) is the term used to describe a variety of services in the area of health, personal care, and social needs of individuals who are chronically ill or disabled. Depending on the needs of the individual, long-term care will include services such as nursing home care, assisted living care, adult day care, and perhaps most importantly, home health care.

Who Needs Long-Term Care?

The need for long-term care is generally defined by an individual’s inability to perform the normal activities of daily living (ADL) such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, continence, and moving around. Conditions such as AIDs, spinal cord or head injuries, stroke, mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, or physical weakness and frailty due to advancing age can all result in the need for long-term care.

Research shows that more than 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lifetime.(¹)

(1) 2014 Medicare & You, National Medicare Handbook, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, September 2013.

Be aware of how the waiting period (the so-called “Elimination Period”) is calculated before benefits begin. Some policies will require actual “days of care” to satisfy their waiting periods while others calculate the waiting period simply in calendar days. The latter is more consumer-friendly. With the calendar day approach, once you go on claim, your waiting period begins, uninterrupted regardless of how many days of actual care is received.

Look for a policy that either has no Elimination Period for home health care, or that offers an affordable Elimination Period rider. While most policies offer no waiting periods for home health care, most still require the waiting period (usually a choice of 90, 180 or 365 days) before paying out benefits.

All Long-Term Care Insurance Providers will offer some Benefit Increase Option(s) (BIO) with your policy that will help fight the rising Costs of Care AND inflation. Although these options do come with an additional cost to your premium, we highly recommend you consider the value in them.

The most common BIO’s offered are 3% and 5% annual increase, either step rated, or compounding. Many carriers also offer tailored benefit increase options which will change as the insured enters different stages of life.