Tag Archives: elder care california

What are the Odds?

Long Term Care is one of the most pressing issues and likely the greatest retirement expense facing Americans today– it will only get more urgent as the nation ages.

Consider this:

  • The number of persons aged 65 or older is expected to double in the next 20 years; there will be 110 percent more people 80 or older – U.S. Census Bureau, News Release, August 14, 2008
  • At least 70% of people over age 65 will require some long term care services at some point; more than 40% will need care in a nursing home – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September 2008
  • The cost of long term care in the U.S. has increased for the sixth consecutive year, most of these increases are outpacing inflation – Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout, April 2009
  • The national average median cost of one year in a private nursing home room is $74,208 – Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout, April 2009

what are the odds you'll need long term care?It’s important to consider care options while a person is healthy. That’s when the best rates and options are available and families are in much better emotional shape to discuss long term care-related planning. The simple truth is that during a crisis, situations can quickly escalate and cause tension or introduce issues that could have otherwise been avoided.

While there is much to gain by talking as soon as possible, there’s a staggering amount to lose if we miss the chance. The list is long, but here are just a few things you should know now, rather than discovering them the hard way later:

  • Health insurance and Medicare cover virtually none of the cost of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or in-home care– the care many people require late in life. Many people pay out of pocket until they are practically destitute and then Medicaid kicks in. Many who thought they had saved adequately end up impoverished, getting substandard care.
  • Without a durable power of attorney (a simple document that is easy to obtain), you may have to go to court to gain guardianship over your parent so you can handle his or her affairs if he or she becomes incompetent. Guardianship is necessary so you can handle your parent’s affairs. Going to court is expensive, time-consuming and stressful.
  • A loved one’s health status can change over night. It’s better to have long term care plans and insurance in place prior to their health taking a turn. At that point it may be cost prohibitive or simply may no longer be an option due to the age or health of the person who will need care or coverage.
  • Many of the best care facilities have waiting lists, and some of them require that your parent be able to live independently in order to move in.
  • Sometimes it is not the big health problems that ruin the golden years, but the smaller annoyances– the inability to pursue a loved hobby, the difficulty hearing, or the fear of falling. When you talk, try to get at these less obvious issues too, as many of them can be resolved.

Being prepared will mean less work, less stress, less worry and fewer regrets. Talk. Talk now. Because we need to prepare for aging like we prepare for everything else in life

If you are ready to talk to a long-term care insurance expert call
us today at (800) 303-1527.

NOVEMBER IS LONG TERM CARE AWARENESS MONTH

You were very wise if you already have purchased a long term care insurance policy. You were aware of the issues involved, protected your nest egg and obtained peace of mind.

However, unless a friend or family member has needed long term care, it is a subject many people know little about. You, who are informed, need to tell your friends that they had better consider a long term care plan while they are relatively young and healthy.

Because of our budget deficit, government benefits for long term care will surely be sharply reduced over the next ten years and will only cover the very poor. If people have not protected themselves, many horrible scenarios will ensue. Many will lack the ability to pay the half a million dollars or more of future care expenses.

These horrible scenarios can be avoided. We urge you to tell your friends and family members to seek professional guidance from specialists like us. If it is better for them to self-insure, we’ll tell them so, but let’s face it, no plan is a bad plan.

Stay healthy, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

For more information about Long Term Care plans, please request a quote here or call us at 1 (800) 303-1527.

Buying Long Term Care Insurance in California

BUYING INSURANCE
By Thomas Day

Why Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

1. It will help you keep your independence and dignity. Here’s how. . . some of you will spend all your assets on care while others plan to give their money away or put it in trust. With no assets you will now qualify for a welfare program called Medicaid. Medicaid typically pays for a semiprivate room in a nursing home, and; not all nursing homes take Medicaid patients. In many states it’s not easy to get Medicaid to cover home care or pay for assisted living. Many people want to stay at home, but with Medicaid may not be able to. And assisted living is rapidly becoming a preferred alternative to nursing home care for certain disabilities but Medicaid may insist on a nursing home instead.

A nursing home is not the most desirable place to finish out one’s life. For many, a terminal stay in a nursing facility robs them of a purpose in life and strips away their dignity. As an example, have you ever thought of the indignity of being bathed, toiletted or diapered in a nursing home environment? No wonder many people express the desire to die before ever having to go into a nursing home.

For some conditions a nursing home is the only alternative, but for many long-term care patients there are more options than nursing homes. A good long term-care insurance policy covers those options and when all else fails, it pays for nursing homes too.

2. If you are married and you have a need for long-term care, your spouse may be forced to pay for an outside care giver. The cost is likely to come from your combined income and assets. If the need for paid care drags on too long, your spouse may be left with minimal cash assets for future needs. Insurance solves this problem and allows your spouse to keep the assets.


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Visit www.californialongtermcare.com for more information regarding Long Term Care Insurance in California.

In California: Study Reveals Cost of Long-term Care Insurance

Study Reveals What Americans Pay for Long-term Care Insurance

What individuals pay for long-term care insurance can range significantly from about $700 a year to as over $13,000 per year according to a study from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Individuals purchasing long-term care insurance paid as little as a few hundred dollars to as much as $13,000 a year according to a new report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

“People are misled by reports that reflect averages and have the belief that this important protection is expensive,” explains Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the industry trade group. “Averages include costs paid by those who buy Cadillac plans of protection at older ages when the costs are extremely high. Averages do not reflect what most people pay.”

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Visit www.californialongtermcare.com if you need more information regarding Long Term Care Insurance.

The Cost of Elderly Health Care in California

The Cost of Elderly Health Care in California

On average, the cost of elderly health care is $5,531 annually. Family members not only provide hands-on care but often dig into their own pockets to pay other expenses which include groceries, drugs and medicines, medical equipments such as wheelchairs, toilet seat risers and transportation. Many times family members have to miss work and lose out on their income to take care of elderly family members.

Many family members take loans, skip vacations and often ignore their own health. Government must start providing tax deductions and tax credits to family caregivers.

The expenditures incurred for elderly health care is increasing rapidly and reaching astronomical heights. Elders have many special needs when it comes to health care. One is often left frustrated when there are gaps in insurance coverage. Medicare programs offer only minimal assistance for serious health disorders.

There are some programs that cover senior citizens. It covers hospital expenses and doctor visits, even if you continue to work. All one needs to do is pay a premium every month. These programs are popular among a vast number of senior citizens.

One needs to apply for these programs before one reaches the age of 65. In case you don’t then one has to pay a high premium. One also has the option of enrolling for these programs after retirement.

The premium that one pays depends on your income and which company you will be purchasing coverage from. Senior citizens with low income are also eligible for the entire coverage under Medicare.

Prescription drugs which are used to treat a wide variety of diseases and illness are fully covered if one has a private insurance coverage. If you do not have private insurance, this could be matter of serious concern. Sometimes drug prices are simply not affordable, forcing the senior citizens to forgo other needs to pay for drugs.

Recent Medicare legislation has been a big disappointment for senior citizens, as drug coverage continues to be limited and fails to reduce the rising cost of drugs. Many seniors are forced to manage their medical plan on their own.

At times, the drug industry provides free drugs to the needy who are not covered under private insurance or any government program. Retail stores in the vicinity provide drugs at discounted rates. There are various medicine manufacturing companies that offer assistance to lower income senior citizens. One can seek out these discount programs if they have a financial need.

Katie Appleby is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about the cost of elderly health care, please visit Senior Health Today for current articles and discussions.

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Visit us at www.californialongtermcare.com if you have any questions or need more information regarding Long Term Care Insurance!

Disabilities Are Restricting More Retirees In California

Disabilities Are Restricting More Retirees In California

I don’t exercise enough, like many of you. (Far too many, in fact: Of Americans 50 and older, 46 percent don’t exercise at all, according to a report in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.) Sure, we realize that a sedentary lifestyle, especially when coupled with bad eating habits, adds extra pounds. And that being overweight can lead to disabling diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer.

But for many years, Americans could take comfort in the fact that the costs of neglecting our health were out weighed by the benefits of improving medical technology.  Recently, the number of seniors developing disabling health problems has begun to rise.

As more individuals tragically lose their personal freedom to illness, more families will have to grapple with crushing long-term-care bills. So will the federal budget.

Already, about two-thirds of Medicaid spending and more than on-third of Medicare spending are associated with disability. If even more seniors get sick, those costs will soar.

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If you would like more information about Long Term Care Insurance, visit www.californialongtermcare.com.

Long-Term Care Insurance: You Have Options In California

Long-Term Care Insurance: You Have Options
By: Janet Arrowood

The latest offerings provide more coverage and the ability to pick and choose what types of coverage you’ll need.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when choosing a long-term care insurance plan was simple–because there was only one option: a nursing-home-only plan modeled after Medicare LTC coverage. Today, you can choose your coverage and its terms from a plethora of options. But, with all of these choices, careful evaluation of LTC policies is more critical than ever.

To give you an idea of how dramatically LTC plans have evolved, let’s look at the some the older features.

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Are you looking forward to your retirement?  Have questions about insuring your future? Visit us for more information at www.californialongtermcare.com.

Long Term Care Insurance – Answers to Common Questions in N California

Long Term Care Insurance – Answers to Common Questions
For article click HERE

Will You need Long Term Care?

It’s hard to believe, but the estimated risk for needing Long Term Care continues to climb with each passing year. Now, the Federal government estimates that each individual has a 70% chance of needing Long Term Care in their lifetime. Recent studies reveal that if you are 60 years old you have more than a 60% chance of needing long term care. If you are over 65 years old, your chances of needing care goes up to 70%.

Who Is More At Risk for Needing Long Term Care?

Your age, marital status, gender, lifestyle and, to some extent, your family health history all play a part in the possibility of needing long term care.

According to insurance actuarials, you are more at risk if you:

* are older
* are a woman
* are single
* have a poor diet
* don’t exercise regularly
* smoke
* have a family history of Alzheimer’s, stroke, arthritis, or other degenerative diseases.
* Also, physical activities that can cause severe accidents should be included as a definite risk.

The Long Term Care Cycle

91% of Americans surveyed said they would prefer receiving Long Term Care at home. Indeed, of those needing care only 5% are in Skilled Nursing Facilites.

12% are in Assisted Living Facilities and more than 80% are receiving Home Care

Therefore, it isn’t a surprise that most Long Term Care starts at home with the help of family or friends until the caregiving burden becomes a too much of a hardship. The next step might be to hire a paid caregiver to help with care duties in the home. Yet many people can’t afford such a luxury, even if they hire unskilled, unlicensed, unsupervised “grey market” caregivers. As care needs increase the next care setting of preference is Assisted Living Facilities, as they are more like hotels than the hospital-type setting of a Skilled Nursing Facility. Most people do everything in their power to stay out of nursing homes, which is one reason why the average nursing home stay is only 2.5 years.

While most Americans suspect that they might need long term care “sometime” in the future, many underestimate care costs and falsely assume that Medicare or their health insurance will pay for extended care. They will not. Medicare will only pay for a short time and only under specific, limited circumstances. The only governement agencies that pay for Long Term Care are Medicaid and the Veteran’s Administration. Both are notorious for their lack of care quality and poor quality of life for their residents.

Boomers’ Mindset

Boomers have been raised to expect a decent quality of life and the freedom to make their own choices. They cherish independence, pleasure and, as they have matured, the joys of family and friends.

As a generation, Boomers were not raised to expect or shoulder sacrifice, although they can and do rise to the occasion. For most, the mere thought of a loved one enduring the extraordinary burden and sacrifice of day-to-day caregiving is enough to motivate Boomers to protect themselves and their families.

The value of Long Term Care insurance is that it:

1) supports independence by providing the ability to pay for Home Care and Assisted Living costs. It give people choices.
2) protects loved ones from the burdens of caregiving.

Long Term Care insurance should be called “nursing home and family caregiving prevention insurance”, and for these benefits alone it is worth its price.

Either having LTC insurance or paying for care costs out-of-pocket allows you to choose where to receive care, even when caregiving needs increase. However, Long Term Care insurance is less expensive in the long-run.

When Should I Buy Long Term Care Insurance?

The sooner the better! LTC insurance premiums go up in price as you get older, although once you buy a policy your premiums do not rise due to aging or health. For years, financial planners were telling their clients to wait until age 65, but this is no longer considered sound advice. The Federal and State Partnership Programs encourage people to buy as early as age 40, mostly to increase the financial security of the programs, but also to ensure that people do not become a burden on Welfare/Medicaid if they get sick or injured at an early age and need long term care.

If you can afford the premium for years to come, buy now to protect yourself and your family.

Please visit www.californialongtermcare.com if you would like more information regarding Long Term Care Insurance.

Why Private Long-Term Care Insurance in California?

Private Long Term Care Insurance?
Written By: Marilyn Katz
Original content

The Need for Long Term Care Insurance

Do you need long term care insurance (LTC or LTCi) to help you meet your retirement and long term financial plans? I think that you are making a big gamble if you do not consider how you will pay for the possibility of needing some sort of long term nursing care or assisted living. Consider how this is becoming an even bigger risk as we age.

We are Living Longer, but Will Be More Likely to Need Care

Americans are living longer, and this is good news. You have probably heard the news that many term life insurers are actually reducing premiums because we have increased our average life spans. However, that happy news also comes with an increased chance we will spend an increased amount of time with nursing care. In fact, experts estimate that 50 – 70 percent of us will need some help as we age!

Nursing or Living Care Costs Money

Live in help, and especially nursing care, is not cheap. A traditional nursing home can cost $4,000 a month or more. That is in today’s dollars, and costs have been increasing. Many families have seen a lifetime of savings evaporate because of an extended stay in a nursing facility.

Other forms of care may not be much cheaper. If a person gets care from home health professionals, it can also cost thousands a month depending upon the type of care. A few hours a week to prepare meals may not cost much, but if care is needed 24 hours a day, imagine the cost of paying for 3 shifts of home health care workers that have to be there 7 days a week!

Assisted living facilities are usually less expensive, but still can cost thousands of dollars each month. And people must be qualified to enter them. Others may simply be too ill for assisted living, and must go to a more expensive full service nursing facility. It is impossible to predict these things.

Does Health Insurance Cover Extended Nursing Care?

Most health insurance, including Medicare, does not cover long term stays in a facility. Medicare covers a few months, but then stops paying. Medicaid, the federal health insurance for poor people, kicks in only after most assets are depleted. Health insurance is usually not a good solution to this problem.

What Kinds of LTCI Can You Find?

What kinds of LTCI can you find on the market? Major insurers offer a variety of policies. Waiting periods, daily rates, and covered maximum stays vary. Some cover any type of care that an individual needs, while others only cover specific types of care. One policy may only cover a nursing facility, while other policies may cover any choice that is made that makes sense for the covered person.

How Much Does Long Term Care Insurance Cost?

Again, rates will depend upon the type of policy you find, the insurer, and your local area. Beyond that, an applicant’s age, general health, and health status will affect the cost. You can find some simple online insurance quote forms to help you compare the policies and prices that you can find in your area.

If you have questions regarding Long-Term Care Insurance, please visit us at www.californialongtermcare.com.

In California, Why Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

BUYING INSURANCE
By Thomas Day
Original Content HERE

Why Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?
1. It will help you keep your independence and dignity. Here’s how. . . some of you will spend all your assets on care while others plan to give their money away or put it in trust. With no assets you will now qualify for a welfare program called Medicaid. Medicaid typically pays for a semiprivate room in a nursing home, and; not all nursing homes take Medicaid patients. In many states it’s not easy to get Medicaid to cover home care or pay for assisted living. Many people want to stay at home, but with Medicaid may not be able to. And assisted living is rapidly becoming a preferred alternative to nursing home care for certain disabilities but Medicaid may insist on a nursing home instead.

A nursing home is not the most desirable place to finish out one’s life. For many, a terminal stay in a nursing facility robs them of a purpose in life and strips away their dignity. As an example, have you ever thought of the indignity of being bathed, toiletted or diapered in a nursing home environment? No wonder many people express the desire to die before ever having to go into a nursing home.

For some conditions a nursing home is the only alternative, but for many long-term care patients there are more options than nursing homes. A good long term-care insurance policy covers those options and when all else fails, it pays for nursing homes too.

2. If you are married and you have a need for long-term care, your spouse may be forced to pay for an outside care giver. The cost is likely to come from your combined income and assets. If the need for paid care drags on too long, your spouse may be left with minimal cash assets for future needs. Insurance solves this problem and allows your spouse to keep the assets.

3. Many healthy care-giving spouses won’t spend their money and choose to “tough it out” on their own without help. If care of a disabled spouse drags on too long, this can have a devastating effect on the physical and emotion health of the caregiver. Surveys reveal that even though healthy caregivers often don’t spend their money for help, they will use insurance if available. Insurance allows the healthy caregiver to buy much-needed respite from paid professionals, while at the same time, retaining the assets and possibly avoiding an early death from the mental and physical stress of caregiving.

4. If your children or extended family promise to take care of you when the time comes, insurance will help them do that. Probably you nor your children have thought of the prospects of moving you from place to place, changing your dirty diapers, cleaning up after “accidents” in the bathroom or helping you with bathing and dressing. Insurance will pay for aides to help with these tasks.

5. If you are single and a need for long-term care arises, insurance can pay for and coordinate that care. With insurance you won’t have to feel you would be a burden for family or friends.

6. If you have the desire to leave assets behind when you die, insurance will help preserve those assets from the cost of long term care.

Why Not Buy This Insurance When You’re Older?

1. Don’t forget that 43% of those needing long term care are under age 65. You may need it now.

2. Roughly every two years insurance companies come out with new policies. Although these policies contain many new benefits and features, they are also more expensive for new people signing up than the previous policy. Estimates are, because of this rate creep, new applicants for long-term care insurance are paying about 5% more each year than applicants at the same age would be paying with older policies. At this rate of increase, ten years from now, a policy for a 50 year old would cost 50% more than an equivalent policy for a 50 year old would cost today.

3. To get long term care insurance you must answer questions relating to your health. If you wait, you may develop a condition that would prevent you from obtaining coverage.

4. The cost of coverage increases with age. For younger ages you can get a rate that is relatively inexpensive. At older ages the rate becomes very expensive.

5. It costs less, over time, buying now than buying equivalent coverage in the future. The 20 year total cost of buying now is less than the 19 year total cost of buying next year, or the 18 year cost of the next year, and so on.

Why Not Invest the Premiums Instead of Buying Insurance?

The invested amount of premiums over 20 years, may be only 5% to 12% of the potential insurance benefit. A 6 year insurance benefit may only yield ½ year of long term care if the premiums are invested instead. Besides, if you invested premiums, where would the money come from if you needed long term care next year or even 5 or 10 years from now? The saved premium account wouldn’t have time to grow.

Why Waste Money on Insurance if You Have Assets to Cover the Cost Directly?

The same question could be asked of auto, home owner’s or medical insurance. Why not self-insure there as well? You could just as easily pay your medical bills from your pocket. Or pay for damage to your cars and loss of your home out-of-pocket and possibly save a lot of money over time? No matter what the risk, the total cost of premiums over a long period is usually a fraction of the cost of paying a claim from your own pocket. The purpose we buy insurance is to preserve assets by leveraging premiums to buy a benefit at pennies on the dollar instead of paying dollar-for-dollar out-of-pocket for a loss. The probability of a house fire is 1 in 1200, of having a major auto accident is 1 in 240 and of needing long term care is 1 in 2 . With a much higher probability doesn’t long term care insurance make as much sense as buying those other coverages?

Why Don’t You Get Your Money Back if You Don’t Use the Insurance?
This question always begs the underlying reason for it’s being asked. In essence the person with this concern is thinking, “it won’t happen to me, so it’s a waste of money”. To play to this objection, many carriers design policies with cash values, life insurance death benefits or return of premium at death. But these features increase premium cost and sometimes make coverage unaffordable. The same question could be asked of all insurance. Why don’t we get a refund with term life, health, disability, commercial lines, auto, or homeowners insurance? People seem to take it in stride, paying $80,000 for auto insurance or $20,000 for homeowners insurance over their lifetime. Then when they make a claim, if they ever do, they get their coverage canceled or more likely their rates are increased to cover the cost of the claim. Yet, out of denial or ignorance they can’t see why they should pay $40,000 over their lifetime for long-term care insurance where the probability for a claim is higher and the risk of loss is 4 to 10 times higher than the risk of loss with a car or home.

If you would like more information regarding Long Term Care Insurance, please visit us at  www.californialongtermcare.com.