Long Term Care Insurance – Getting the facts

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Home Health Care ñ Simple things to consider about Long Term Care insurance

Many times I have seen news articles containing misleading information about Long-Term Care insurance, being in the Home health care industry, I feel that it is important to understand and educate families on matters with such a substantial possible financial impact, Long-Term Care Insurance falls under that category.

ìIt is important for consumers to understand the importance of their need to address the very real risk of needing long term care but misleading or deceptive information is in no oneís best interest,î declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the national long term care insurance industry trade group. ìI keep a roguesí gallery of misleading information that repeatedly appears in news articles,î Slome shared with a group of industry marketing professionals. ìThey may all be true but often they have zero relevance to long term care insurance and linking the two together is not appropriate way to appropriately educate the public.î Slome shared three fallacious facts:

ìItís common to read that 40 percent of those needing long term care are under age 65,î Slome said. ìThis is a government statistic which includes everyone born with birth defects and severe disabilities, mental issues and other issues. There is no relevance to long-term care insurance which requires applicants must health qualify for insurance coverage.î

ìPeople start buying long term care insurance in their 50s to address the real risks of needing care as a result of aging, dementia or conditions that generally start after age 70,î Slome explained. ìOf course, accidents and disabling diseases can begin at younger ages but not to the degree the 40 percent statistic implies.î

ìA second fallacy is that one needs to protect the full cost of care by showing large scary numbers,î Slome says. ìYou see reports that say three years in a nursing home will cost $200,000 and that may be true but most people buy long term care insurance to receive care at home. Those costs can be far more affordable and every article neglects to mention you should use some of your savings to pay some of the costs.î

According to Slome, the insurance expert, over two-thirds of new claims begin with home care. ìYouíre likely to receive ëwake up ñ tuck iní services for a few hours which can be fully covered by a modest long term care insurance policy,î Slome adds. ìAnd, donít overlook retirement income including Social Security which can be used to pay some of the cost augmented by your insurance.î

Slome Continued, saying that many articles overstate the cost of LTC insurance. ìReporters tend to talk to the same small group of experts, often those who have wealthy clientele or they quote industry averages which mislead many into thinking coverage is expensive,î Slome finished by saying. ìIt can be if you are older, if you have health conditions or if you buy a Cadillac policy. But it does not have to be and half of all buyers pay less than the average, some significantly less.î

Considering the above, the importance of working with an experienced Long Term Care insurance professional cannot be overstated. Costs and policies change significantly and often. ìWe define a specialist as someone who has helped 100 or more people get long term care insurance,î Slome said. ìA consumer can pick who they work with but those we speak with share that specialists provide them with far greater information relevant to their situation and typically better choices for options.î

Do not be afraid to do your own research, being proactive and learning about long-term care insurance policies does not have to be a daunting experience, you could potentially save yourself some headaches in the future as the need for Long-Term Care often comes unexpected.

Sources: American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI)

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