Category Archives: long term care insurance california

Welcome to our new long-term care insurance blog for California!

Who is California Long Term Care Insurance Services, Inc?

We have become California’s largest independent long term care insurance brokerage. The organization is run by four professionals who, together, have 100 years of exclusive long term care insurance experience, and have sold $50,000,000 of long term care insurance premiums. We expect to continue to grow over many years.

The brokerage has appointed agents statewide. Most of these agents have had many years of long term care insurance experience, and as a group, they are among the most highly trained in the industry. They represent many of the top long term care insurance companies. The agents are given the ability and motivation to custom-tailor a plan to a client’s individual needs.

We specialize exclusively in long term care insurance. Long term care insurance has become a very complicated product to understand. We believe you deserve expertise to guide your long term care decision, just as you would utilize the expertise of an attorney to guide your estate planning.

Our Mission

The mission of California Long Term Care Insurance Services is to enable Californians to retain their dignity, independence, and assets in the increasingly likely event that they will become sick or injured and need long term care.

Our Goal

Our goal is to give service to our clients the way we would want an agent to give service to us. We strive to have integrity in what we say and do, keep the promises we make, and respect the dignity of our clients. We believe that we are rendering a service that is a needed and essential one for many Californians.

Headquarters – Northern California

1601 Bayshore Highway, Suite 205

Burlingame, CA 94010

(800) 303-1527

Governor Newsom and Aging

by Louis H. Brownstone 

In his State of the State address on February 11th, 2019, newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom spoke the following words regarding aging and long term care:

Now, let’s talk about something too often overlooked: The Golden State is getting grayer. We need to get ready for the major demographic challenge heading our way.

For the first time in our history, older Californians will outnumber young children. Over the next decade, our statewide senior population will increase by 4 million. In 25 years, it will double. And more than half will require some form of long term care.

Growing old knows no boundaries—aging doesn’t care what race you are, your economic status, or if you’re single with no other family support.

I’ve had some personal—and painful—experience with this recently. I lost my father over the holidays, after years of declining physical health and dementia. He was determined to live out his days with dignity. He also happened to be a retired public official with a pension and a support circle of family and friends. Even with all those advantages, it was a daily challenge to meet his needs so he could live in peace and maintain a good quality of life.

Millions of Californians share a similar story, and the numbers will only grow. It’s time for a new Master Plan on Aging. It must address…person-centered care.

Governor Newsom is really speaking about two related issues. The first is the financial impact of the aging baby boomers as they become sick and place huge burdens on Medi-Cal. He states that long term care expenses will double in 25 years, and that’s probably a low estimate.

The second issue regards caregiving. Most caregivers will be family members because there will be a shortage of professional caregivers and most families won’t be able to afford their cost. Many of you reading this are or have been caregivers. You know that caregiving is tough! It changes your life, let alone that of the person receiving the care.

It’s likely that Governor Newsom will bring a new sense of purpose to Sacramento and propose new solutions to aging and caregiving in California. Goodness knows we need new caregiving solutions right away. We now have a patchwork of many public and private agencies providing caregiving to various segments of our population, who often don’t know of or understand the programs that are available. There’s a possibility that the Governor will appoint one person to try to simplify and consolidate these programs.

The most comprehensive study on caregiving I know of is “Beyond Dollars” by Genworth Financial, which researched some 1,200 caregivers, care recipients, and family members in 2018. The big takeaway is that caregiving takes a significant toll on the financial, physical and emotional lives of the families and friends of every care recipient. No surprise here, but look at some of the statistical conclusions:

  • 60% of caregivers had to cut back on luxury expenditures
  • 41% of caregivers had depression and feelings or resentment
  • 53% had a high level of stress
  • 46% believe their health and well-being was negatively affected
  • 52% did not feel qualified to provide physical care
  • 48% had to reduce their quality of living
  • 70% missed time from work
  • 30% missed career opportunities
  • 50% have less time for their spouse, children and themselves
  • 63% had to pay for care with their own savings/investments
  • Family caregivers spent an average of 21 hours/week on caregiving
  • Family caregivers spent an average of $10,423/year in out-of-pocket expenses.

One can see from these numbers what a devasting impact a sick family member can have on the entire family. There are now a variety of products that provide long term care solutions. Are you sufficiently educated on these various options?

Dealing with Long Term Care Insurance Rate Increases

by Louis H. Brownstone 

At first, many carriers saw long term care insurance as a terrific marketing opportunity and rushed into the market beginning in 1988 with competitive prices. For years, agents and brokers sold policies with the understanding that the carriers had appropriately priced their products, and that the chances for rate increases were small. However, the industry was a young one, and no one knew for sure whether or not the pricing would prove to be accurate.

The carriers then broadened the appeal of long term care insurance in the mid-1990s by including home health care as a major benefit, with little increase in premium. These benefits were very attractive to consumers, and they eventually led to a large number of home health care claims.

This, in turn, stressed the profitability of long term care insurance products. By the late 1990s, other problems arose, and carriers saw that their pricing assumptions were incorrect for four major reasons:

  1. Interest rates were well below expectations so that carriers made less gain investing the premiums they received;
  2. Unlike life insurance, lapse rates were extremely low, creating more future policyholder claim potential;
  3. Claims were more frequent, with higher costs and of longer duration than expected;
  4. These factors, in turn, led to higher governmental reserve requirements, tying up assets.

Until now, insurance commissioners have been very resistive of carrier requests for big rate increases because they would impose extreme hardship on senior Americans with limited income and assets. Their emphasis was to protect the consumer, which was the major part of their job. They believed that insurance carriers had created their own problems by underpricing their products in order to sell more. They “made their beds” and needed to sleep in them. Insurance is a gamble, and the carriers have lost, so they said.

But there has been a major change in thinking in the last five years. Insurance commissioners have realized that they need to provide carriers enough flexibility in pricing to enable them to pay future claims. Consumers in turn needed to be confident that their claims would be paid. They would be furious if their thousands of dollars of investment turned out to be wasted.

Insurance commissioners, therefore, needed to grant significant rate increases to protect consumers, and have done so. Because there was such a long period of time in which any rate increases which were granted were small, the rate increases needed now have only become greater as long term care insurance policies have matured.

This has led insurance commissioners to grant one-time rate increases as high as 80% to 95% on major blocs of policies. Carriers have to prove that their requests for rate increases are actually warranted.

In many instances, insurance commissioners are insisting that carriers offer benefit changes which can ameliorate or even prevent any increase in premium. These options can or cannot be acceptable alternatives, depending on the current benefits in a policy..

This discussion should not end without mentioning that the long term care insurance industry has learned a great deal in the last thirty-plus years and that current rates should be far more stable. Hybrid and linked policies often have guaranteed rates, but this may not be such a big point of difference if traditional long term care insurance prices remain stable. Because the hybrid and linked products contain two benefits and the traditional long term care product has only one benefit, the traditional long term care product will probably remain the less expensive alternative.

November is Long Term Care Awareness Month

How will you pay for Long Term Care services?

People work a lifetime to accumulate assets to see them through retirement. Unfortunately, relying on those assets to fund long-term care services may mean:
• Selling stocks or property, cashing in CDs or dipping into 401(k) or savings accounts
• Paying unexpected capital gains tax, income tax and potential surrender charges
• Foregoing returns the liquidated assets were expected to generate
• Abandoning plans to leave an inheritance to children and grandchildren

Planning now means having better choices later.

Long Term Care Insurance in California

If we had a magic wand, we’d wave it over the beautiful state of California and endow each resident with good health and long term care insurance in California.  California residents would stop worrying and start sleeping better at night, knowing their future care was guaranteed and they would never have to impoverish themselves or be a burden on their families. 

Our magic wand is still in development.  So, in the meantime, if you want to rest, assured that your bases are covered for the future, you’ll need to take action.

Your first step is to read on.

The 4 Ways to Pay for Long Term Care in California

There are 4 ways to pay for long term care in California and we’ll provide highlights of each:

  1. Private pay
  2. Long Term Care Insurance in California
  3. Medi-Cal
  4. Veterans’ Benefits

(Medicare isn’t listed because it’s health insurance, not long term care insurance.  You can’t count on it to pay for long term care.)

Private Pay for Long Term Care in California

If you have gobs of money, you could self-insure and private pay for your long term care; however,  

  • In 2020, California nursing home costs average about $300 for a shared room and $350 for a private room.
  • If you’re in an urban area such as San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, rates are much higher, up to $497 per day.
  • Let’s figure that out.  Average nursing home stays are about 2.5 years to 3 years, so we’ll use the 3-year cost factor.  Here goes:  Even if we took the lowest rate of $300 × 2.5 years × 365 days, that’s $273,750.
  • If your spouse or partner needs the same care, we’d have to double that fee to $547,500.
  • And, surprisingly, this doesn’t cover everything such as an attendant, medical co-payments, clothes, haircuts, toiletry supplies, and the hairdresser.

Is private paying for long term care in California a good option for you?

Long Term Care Insurance in California

Long term care insurance in California pays for care at home or in an assisted living facility or nursing home.  Policies are customized so that you can:

  • Include a deductible to reduce premiums
  • Purchase policies of different lengths such as a 3-year policy or a 5-year policy.
  • Get your insurance premiums back if you never use the policy.
  • Buy a life insurance rider to leave an inheritance for loved ones or pay last bills.
  • Include an inflation rider so that your coverage increases as California long-term care fees increase.
  • Consider a myriad of other features that are a good fit for you.
  • Fees for Long term care insurance in California vary depending on your age, health, and the features you choose.  It’s essential that you consult with a highly qualified LTC insurance professional who knows his or her stuff!

Wouldn’t it make sense to find out more about long term care insurance in California?

Medi-Cal instead of Long Term Care Insurance in California

Medi-Cal is an important and valuable program.  It pays for health care and nursing home care for those who are impoverished.  To qualify for the program, you must have next to no assets and little income. 

  • This means you must spend down nearly all of your assets to qualify.
  • In addition, all of your income, such as your social security check or pension, will go to the nursing home, not to you.

If you’re truly impoverished, living below the poverty line or close to it, Medi-Cal is a fantastic safety net and you should further explore its benefits.  You are why Medi-Cal exists. 

However, if your income and assets are not at the poverty level, it likely makes sense to explore other ways to pay for long-term care.

Veterans’ Benefits to Pay for Long Term Care in California

In great appreciation of service to our country, the government does provide limited veteran’s benefits to pay for long term care in California.

  • These benefits are limited to veterans and their spouses, who have few assets and very low income.
  • The veteran must have served a minimum of 90 days, with at least one day during wartime.
  • This program is called Aid and Attendance.

The bottom line is that there are 4 ways to pay for long term care in California. Be sure to analyze your California long term care payment choices, before you need them.  If you would like our help, contact us, we’ll be happy to assist in any way we can.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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
  • 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
  • The cost of long term care in the U.S. has steadily increased, and most of these increases are outpacing inflation
  • The national average median cost of one year in a private nursing home room is over $90,000.

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 overnight. 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.

Long Term Care Premiums Tax Deductions

There are advantages that you might be eligible for with a Long Term Care Insurance policy.

• Do you own a business?
• Are you aware of the potential Long Term Care tax advantages of owning a business?

You might be interested in a Quick Reference Guide that gives a summary of Long Term Care premium tax treatment for different types of business entities.

Contact us for details

Are Canada’s Long Term Care Statistics A Predictor Of Things To Come?

Long-Term Care InsuranceAccording to the Government of Canada, long-term facility based care is not covered under the Canada Health Act, but controlled through provincial and territorial legislation. The recent shift in admissions requirements to long-term facilities based care settings reveals some shocking statistics on aging and long-term care health issue management.

In the November 23rd news article by northumberlandview.ca, it was stated that, “Since 2010, when the government changed the admission criteria for long-term care, new residents have been coming to long-term care homes at a later stage in the progression of their diseases. Their health is more likely to be unstable, their health issues are more complex, and they are more physically frail.”

The article continues by outlining various statistics in the long-term care resident population. For example, there was a 29.6% increase in residents requiring monitoring for acute conditions. 62% of the residents suffered from Alzheimer’s, a 6% increase since 2010.

Assistance with “Activities of Daily Living”, which includes hygiene, toileting, and mobility rose 7.2%, 8.9%, and 11.6% respectively. 46% of residents act aggressively with 22.2% displaying signs of severe aggression related to mental health conditions such as dementia.

It really begs the question to be asked, if people were given access to facilities and services earlier, could their conditions have been managed better? Could they live with more dignity?

In the US, while there are some restrictions on long-term care facility admission, you can access more options at an earlier stage with proper planning. Access to home care benefits, assisted living, senior housing, and community-based services could help improve your quality of life as you age.

Setting a plan in place for your long-term care insurance needs will also relieve a lot of financial burden you can face during those years when the most care is required.

Consider having a talk with a long-term care specialist at California Long-Term Care Insurance Services. There is no cost or obligation, and the information you gain could protect your dignity and peace of mind in your retirement.

Get the conversation started today!

Source:

http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=38614

Having The Long Term Care Talk With Your Family

This year, like many others, millions of families around the US will sit down to a delicious Holiday feast, filled with laughs, stories, and family warmth. This year, when looking around the table, there are some numbers you need to think about.

1 in 9
1 in 4
2 in 3

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 9 people age 65 and older develop Alzheimer’s. At age 85, that number jumps to almost one out of three.

Long-term care insurance can help cover the rising costs of care for people that develop Alzheimer’s and require treatment in a nursing home. Medicare does not cover this kind of health care setting. Long-term disability insurance does not cover this type of care either.

With annual care costs trending upward to $150,000 for a private room, if you don’t have a substantial nest egg set aside for long-term healthcare expenses of 2 years or more, it can ruin a family financially and emotionally.

The Society of Actuaries says that almost 1 in 4 long-term care insurance claims is from services received by people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Industry statistics also show that nearly 2 in 3 people will require some form of long-term care assistance at age 65 and up. Maybe this year, it is time to talk openly with the family about plans to receive care when they can no longer do for themselves.

Putting a simple plan in place is easy, and getting professional guidance is no cost. The specialists at California Long Term Care Insurance Services are available to help you understand how to have “the talk” at no cost and no obligation to you.

In fact, they have put together a great report that you can get free right now that will give you great information on planning for long-term care needs, with affordable long-term care insurance options.

Fill out the short form to the right, download your guide and start “the talk”!

Shocking Discovery on as Long Term Care Insurance Industry Problem

Long Term Care Policy LapsIf you have been planning your retirement strategy, this is one way to quickly waste thousands of dollars.

According to a November 6, 2015 Forbes.com article, researchers have uncovered an issue that is plaguing the consumers of long-term care insurance. As you may already know, smart soon-to-be retirees help offset the massive costs of nursing homes and in-home care not covered by Medicare with long-term care insurance protection. According to Genworth, the median annual price of private room care is estimated at $91,250 – planning is just a smart thing to do unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in your savings for long-term care expenses.

The discovery researchers made is truly shocking… According to analysts and researchers at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, over 33% of policyholder’s age 65 experience a lapse in their policies before being able to access their benefits. To put that in perspective a couple age 55, purchasing an average of $165,000 of insurance would spend a combined $2,400 per year in premiums, over 10 years that is $24,000! When your policy lapses, you just lost $24,000 at age 65 as that couple.

You may already know through published statistics that people age 65 and older experience a health event that results in 70% of that population needing to access long-term care insurance and services. The sad truth is, when they did not plan their policies correctly from the start, and the time comes when the benefits are needed, they are no longer available. Not only did they lose the $24,000 the invested on premiums, they are also facing potential costs of $90,000+ per year that a vast majority of people simply do not have set aside. Long-term care service expenses can easily wipe out savings and any hope of leaving something behind for loved ones within a few short years.

Our own researches say there is hope though.

Proper planning involves a real and frank discussion about what your financial situation is, what plans you have in place to handle your affairs should you not be able to do that yourself, and making decisions prior to any health events so you have a plan in place when things take a turn for the worse. Admittedly, this may not be the most comfortable conversation to have, but when you work with a trained and caring specialist at California Long Term Care Insurance Services, you will quickly realize that your future health care needs can be handled without financial worry.

Your California Long Term Care Insurance Specialist researches the top rated companies, knows their financial standings, and can work to develop a plan that fits your goals and your budget.

Fill out the form to the right and get started today with a confidential no-cost no-obligation conversation now!

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/11/06/how-long-term-care-insurance-policies-backfire/