Tag Archives: ltci california

Have You Accepted The Default Long-Term Care plan?

Default Long-term care planIn a recent article on Marketwatch.com by Retirement Reporter Elizabeth O’Brien, she discussed what the costs for long-term care insurance look like, and how people plan for their health care needs in the future when they are no longer able to care for themselves.

In O’Brien’s article, she references the average cost for a 55-year old couple on a common LTC plan to be around $5,000 per year in premium dollars. While that is a sizable amount for people to budget with insurance, O’Brien comments, “Consumers should think of long-term care insurance as one way to help defray the cost of home health aides or a care facility and to protect their hard-earned nest eggs in the process…”

The article continues on covering the common misconceptions about Medicare and custodial care. Unfortunately, many people believe Medicare covers long-term care expenses. The reality is, while Medicare may cover up to 100 days of skilled nursing, it is not going to cover long-term custodial care. There is a difference between skilled care and custodial care.

O’Brien offers from her research that the median annual cost for private rooms runs over $91,000, and a home health aide could run upwards of $45,000 or more. Without a solid nest egg in place, these costs could easily wipe out any savings available to most families.

An interesting point in the article is how people could end up with a “default long-term care plan”.

“Everybody has a long-term care plan, said Eileen Dunn, a geriatric care manager with Associates of Clifton Park, a Clifton Park, N.Y.-based company that sells long-term care and other insurance to clients of financial advisers. Those who do not consciously make a plan are on the “default plan,” Dunn said. “When something happens, you’re not going to have a choice.” That is, you’re not going to have a choice but to spend down your assets” (O’Brien, 2015, pp. 7)

If you have accepted the default plan as your option, then you should at least research “spend down” requirements for your State, so you know what will happen and how it will affect your family. You can usually get these requirements from the State welfare offices.

The choice is yours, make yours!

Choice 1: I am willing to lose the things I worked for in life.

Choice 2: I want to protect my assets and have a choice.

If you selected Choice 2 and would rather have options in your care, fill out the form to the right and contact a California Long Term Care specialist today to get the conversation started.

Reference:

O’Brien, E., (June 2015) Can you afford $5,000 a year for long-term care insurance? Retrieved 8/9/2015 at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/can-you-afford-5000-a-year-for-long-term-care-insurance-2015-06-25

Do Long Term Care Insurance Numbers Make Sense for The Policyholder?

Long Term Care PricesAccording to a recent article published by the National Association of Health Underwriters it was disclosed that, “a 60-year-old who pays premiums through age 82 (on a statistically representative policy), then show how 22-years of premium payments would quickly be returned after just five months on claim. By comparison, a 60-year-old without insurance would have to set aside $1,666 each month (at 2% interest) to achieve what our LTCI policyholder can leverage with just $188 per month” (Forman, 2015, pp 4-5).

Additional statistics were given in this article that spoke to the growth of long term care insurance numbers, not only in California, but also across the country. As it stands right now, there is an estimated face value of policies in force that is $1.98 Trillion Dollars. The NAHU article talks about the long-term care industry and claims experience, based on the total face value premium of just under 2 Trillion, it is estimated that just under $700 Billion Dollars of claims will be paid out on the current policies in force. The article offers a comparison to its most recent statistic that in the US, in 2010 roughly $210 Billion Dollars was paid out in long term care insurance claims.

It is clear that the long term care insurance need is in growth mode as more and more baby boomers begin looking at their future, and more importantly, the quality of care they will receive when no longer able to care for themselves independently, or with a little assistance. Long term care insurance is not always the most fun conversation to have, and with the complex and often confusing system in California, it can be an uphill battle.

It is important when planning your future to consider the help of a licensed and qualified professional. You already use doctors to help you heal, accountants to help you with financial records, and attorneys to assist with legal concerns; it is time to enlist the help of a California long-term care specialist so you can make an educated decision about your future health care needs.

Fill out the form to the right, get your guide to LTCI and contact your California Long Term Care Specialist today and get started with your planning. This service is Free!

Reference:

Forman, S.D., (June 2015) “Dog Bites Man”, National Association of Health Underwriters, retrieved 08/02/2015 at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/nahultci/issues/2015-06-16/3.html

Affordable California Long Term Care Insurance Premiums

Affordable LTCI Premiums

Katie O’ Rourke
Managing Partner

My husband and I are in our fifties.  A few years ago we were looking for affordable California Long Term Care premiums. We did our research,  decided to take the plunge and purchased Long Term Care insurance (LTCI).  Most of our friends are in the same age range.  I am often asked at social events how much the yearly premium is and people are surprised to hear that our premiums for our plans are $100 each per month. 

The average premium for LTCI is between $100 – $300 per month.  Everyone I talk to has heard that LTCI is expensive and expects to hear a number much higher. However, with the help of a licensed agent, you can find affordable California Long Term Care Insurance for around $100 per month.  

The premium depends on many factors. For example my car insurance could be a lot more expensive than it is but I chose coverage that keeps the premium lower and searched for discounts that would help, like a good student discount for our teenager.  LTCI is similar.  Some companies offer better deals than others depending on your situation.  Your health and marital status can impact the premium.  However, the biggest factor besides the coverage you select is your age; the younger you are when you purchase LTCI the lower the premium you pay throughout your lifetime. 

Besides the peace of mind, another thing that helps us my husband and I feel better about purchasing LTCI is that the premiums are tax deductible as a business expense. 

What I want you to take away from this blog is despite the conventional thinking, affordable California Long Term Care Insurance premiums are possible. We can find the best plan for your budget and give you details on the tax treatment for individuals and businesses.

To speak to a representative or schedule an appointment, simply fill out the form to the right to contact us.

Is LTC Insurance right for me?

Long Term Care Insurance

how do i know if long term care insurance is right for me?Deciding to buy a long-term care insurance policy is an important decision. These policies can help pay for many types of long-term care, but they are not for everyone. We will give you some guidelines commonly accepted in the next section to help you determine if this type of policy may be right for you. If you decide to buy, make sure you compare the costs and benefits of policies from different insurance companies and only those with top ratings. Our Long Term Care Insurance specialists are available to help you with this process.

What does it cover?

Long-term care insurance policies typically cover nursing home stays, community services such as adult day care, in-home care and assisted living facilities. Be sure to consider your desired type of care and choose a policy that covers you in that area. In other words, if your plan is to stay with your daughter in her home, then be sure you will be able to receive benefits in that setting.

A policy covering three to five years of care is the most cost-effective option for most people. However, if you are concerned about care for Alzheimers disease or other types of dementia, you may want to consider more comprehensive coverage.

Is it right for me?

Generally, financial planners recommend considering long-term care insurance if you own assets of at least $75,000 (this does not include your home or car); have annual retirement income of at least $25,000 to $35,000 for an individual or $35,000 to $50,000 for a couple; or are able to pay premiums without financial difficulty, even if premiums increase over time. Long-term care insurance is probably not for you if these factors do not apply to you.

Long-term care insurance can be expensive, depending on your age and health status when you buy the policy and how much coverage you want. Policy costs also vary according to the benefits you choose. It is better to buy long-term care insurance at a younger age when premiums are lower.

Where to go from here?

We hope this information has been helpful. The remainder of the material will provide an in-depth look into the tax considerations for individuals and businesses in regards to Long Term Care insurance, a Frequently Asked Question section and a Glossary of Terms.

If you feel that you would like personal assistance with Long Term Care Insurance or other planning issues, we are here to help.

Our LTCI specialists make your shopping experience easy, by helping compare the costs and benefits of policies from select insurance companies. To speak to a representative or schedule an appointment, simply contact us.

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.

Making Your Money Last In California

Making Your Money Last

Smart Moves for Life’s Big Events: Easing Into Retirement

By Laura Cohn

Before you ditch the daily grind for good, do a complete benefits checkup.

Sure, go ahead and pick a date for your retirement party. But get a handle on how you intend to manage your benefits and cash flow once you stop working.

Buy long-term-care insurance. If you’re still working, see whether your employer offers it. You may be able to get a good deal — particularly now that some firms are offering policies with reduced premiums. Just make sure you understand the limits of your policy (see Long-Term Care You Can Afford). For outside help, speak to a local agent who works with a range of insurers. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance can give you a list of agents in your area.

Read more…

To Learn more about Long Term Care Insurance, visit www.californialongtermcare.com.

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.


Continue reading…

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

LTC Insurance Prevents Financial Wipeout In California

LTC Insurance Prevents Financial Wipeout In California
By Jennie Phipps • Bankrate.com

Long-term care insurance is a tough sell, yet it’s something middle-income people with substantial nest eggs should consider since the need for personal care can quickly deplete financial reserves. A relatively new partnership program adopted by many states may make this insurance more palatable to more people.

Why consider it? The likelihood of filing a claim for long-term care is higher than for a home wrecked by fire. A 65-year-old man has a 27 percent chance of entering a nursing home at some point in his life; a 65-year-old woman faces a 44 percent probability of doing so, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The cost of a private room in a nursing home averages more than $70,000 per year.

State governments on average spend 18 percent of their general fund budgets on Medicaid. But Medicaid doesn’t pay the bill for those with financial resources. The jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program is designed for low-income, needy people. Medicare, the federal health care program for those over 65, doesn’t cover routine nursing home care.

Read more…

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

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.”

Read more…

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

Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Programs In California

Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Programs – Shielding your Assets from Medicaid Spend-down & Estate Recovery

Article Source

Before you can qualify for government aid, Medicaid requires that you spend down your assets by paying for your long term care, until you are basically at poverty level. If you have a spouse/partner that depends upon your assets for a decent quality of life, it is wise to plan ahead to protect your estate for the sake of your loved one’s comfort.

Many people try to give away their assets to family or trusts as soon as they know they will need long term care, but this isn’t a smart strategy, nor is it as easy as it used to be. Depending upon the state, Medicaid’s “look back period” can reach back as far as 5 years.

However, if an individual owns an LTC insurance policy, it can buy them some time. How? Assets can be protected if a policy pays out for as long as the Medicaid look back period. Of course, a person using this asset protection strategy will need to plan ahead by buying a regular Long Term Care insurance policy (while they are healthy). It must pay out for the entire look back period or else the individual risks having to self-pay any remainder, which could be a financial disaster.

This is where a Long Term Care insurance Partnership Program policy can help.

State Long Term Care insurance Partnership Programs join the forces of Medicaid and private long-term care insurance companies. Who might benefit from these programs?

* Those who can’t afford to self-pay expensive long term care and also

* Can’t afford a Long Term Care insurance policy with higher benefits, but

* They have too many assets to be able to qualify for Medicaid.

For people who have some assets to protect (for themselves or their loved ones) and enough discretionary income to pay for basic LTC insurance (lower benefit amounts, without all the bells and whistles), a Partnership Program may be just the thing.

All of the Partnership Programs that have been created since the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 have certain requirements:

* They are tax qualified.

* They must provide annual compounded inflation protection for people 60 years old or younger and “some type” of inflation protection for those who are 61 – 76 years old.

* They protect your assets dollar for dollar, meaning that for every dollar your LTC Partnership policy pays out you get to keep a dollar of assets. If you buy a $200 per day 3 year policy you will get to keep $219,000 of your assets for yourself or your partner, plus whatever your state Medicaid allows everyone to keep.

The biggest drawback with Partnership Programs is if for some reason your long term care needs exceed your policy benefits, you will end up on Medicaid. If you’re very lucky, the facility you originally chose will have an open Medicaid bed, but don’t count on it. You could also be sent to an open Medicaid bed in another care facility that takes both private pay and Medicaid recipients. Lastly and most likely, but least desirable, you could be sent to a Medicaid-only care facility. However, having an LTCi policy might postpone an unpleasent move.

Long Term Care Scenario: Your Partnership Program Long Term Care Insurance policy pays for a room in a nice facility or even at home. The insurance benefits are eventually depleted and you qualify for Medicaid. The state starts paying their part of your long term care, but you must move to a facility with an available Medicaid bed. BUT…if there are no Medicaid beds available in your state, you can stay in the higher end facility until there is an open Medicaid bed. This means, if you originally chose a facility close to home, it will be easier for your friends and near-by relatives to visit you. So you’ll likely enjoy your living conditions better than if you had to move.

If you have protected your assets with Partnership Program policy, and you finally do have to go to a Medicaid facility, you will have some assets saved that can make your life a little more pleasant.

State LTC Insurance Partnership Program Caveats:

* Partnership program protects assets, not income. If your income is too high, you won’t qualify for Medicaid when a Partnership policy runs out, so it wouldn’t be your best bet. You may want to consider a standard LTCi policy with a longer benefit period.

* For individuals with income less than $20,000 or couples with incomes less than $40,000, paying Long Term Care insurance premiums may not make financial sense.

* If you move to another state, the Partnership policy will pay, and the “benefit-matching” will accumulate toward your asset protection, but you may have to move back to the state in which you bought your Partnership policy in order to qualify for Medicaid and take advantage of any asset protection you gained. Some states have reciprocal Partnership Programs, but it is wise to find out how they work together before making a move.

* The inflation protection wording that qualifies policies for Partnership Programs is vague. It says that policies must provide Annual Compounded Inflation protection for people under 61 and Simple Inflation for those ages 61-75, yet it doesn’t specify any percentages. Many private Long Term Care insurance policies have inflation riders of 5% Compounded or 5% Simple and for good reason. The care sector’s inflation rate is about 6% per year, so a 5% Compounded is a smart choice. If your State’s Partnership Program offers less of a percentage, make sure you have enough savings or assets to help cover any possible future costs.

In what phase of LTC Insurance Partnership Program creation is your State?

As of June 25th, 2009 *

Partnership Program Policies are currently for sale in:

AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, ID, FL, GA, IN, KS, KY, MD, MO, MN, ND, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA

These States have an Approved State Plan Amendment:

AZ, IA

These States have documents available:

DE, MA, ME, MT, VT, WA

State Plan Amendments have been submitted in:

WY

No Documents Available – These States are in the planning phase or have no plans yet:

AL, IL, LA, MI, MS, NC, NM, SC, UT, WV, WY

There are 4 states that originally created Partnership Programs. They were grand-fathered in to the Federal Partnership Program. These are New York, California, Indiana and Connecticut. These states have different policy standards than the states that created Partnership Programs after the Deficit Reduction Act’ of 2005 was passed. Let’s look at New York for example:

New York offers four different Partnership policies, 2 Total Asset and 2 Dollar for Dollar. The Total Assets policies do just what they say, shield all your assets from Medicaid. The Total Asset 50 requires 3 years in a Nursing Home or 6 years worth of Home Care. Once the benefits run out, the policyholder can qualify for Medicaid regardless of the amount of assets he or she has accumulated.

But Buyers Beware! Since there is a longer period of facility or home care required, if you did not purchase a high enough daily benefit, there is a possibility that you could use up your assets by having to pay the difference between your policy’s daily benefit and the actual cost of care in your area.

For instance: Charlotte buys a Basic Policy Total Asset 50 policy with the minimum required daily benefit of $208 (the minimum for 2008). She lives in New York City and wants to stay close to friends and family, but the private skilled nursing facility rooms in her area cost from $250 to $476, with the average being $375 dollars per day. Charlotte could be stuck paying anywhere from $40 – $268 per day out of pocket. Over the lifetime of the 3 year nursing home stay, Charlotte would end up paying between $43,200 – $289,440 of her own assets.

The #1 Long Term Care Insurance Lesson: No matter what state you live in and what kind of LTC insurance policy you buy, make sure you buy enough protection to cover the long term care costs in your area. Check our Long Term Care Cost calculator for average care costs, then call a few long term care facilities in your area. You may also want to visit a few facilities to see if there is a difference between cost and quality of living/care.

Besides offering full asset protection, New York Partnership Policies also provide 5% annually compounded inflation protection for everyone age 79 or younger. Considering the rate of inflation, this is a very good thing! People 80 years old have the options of buying a policy without inflation protection.

* Check here for current State Partnership map: www.dehpg.net/ltcpartnership/map.aspx

If you have questions about how Long Term Care Insurance can help secure your future, please visit us at www.californialongtermcare.com.