Category Archives: long term care insurance california

Plan And Save Your California Long Term Care Insurance!

Saving your LTC policyIn a recent article on Reuters the thought was presented that, long-term care insurance really is long term. When you buy a long-term care insurance policy, you are committing to paying premium dollars, sometimes for decades, until you access the benefits of that policy.

According to a recent study by Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, purchasers of long-term care insurance age 65 and older are letting the insurance policies lapse at a rate of over 30%! Nearly 1 in 3 people in this group who have paid out potentially thousands of dollars of insurance premiums are essentially throwing that money out the window.

So what is the reason this is happening?

The study concluded that, unfortunately, the people who need the coverage the most are the ones taking the financial hit. This segment of people are those who end up with cognitive impairments that will soon require care, or those on the lower end of income and wealth who would face the most impact from a medical financial crisis.

Having long-term care insurance is critical if you fall into the segment of population that is 70% of persons age 65 and older who will require some form of long-term care services during their lifetime. Long-term care insurance covers services received in nursing homes or through in-home care services as a coverage option. Medicare does not cover most of these services, which is a common misunderstanding among policy shoppers.

To put the potential costs you could face in a long-term care health services dilemma, per year costs of a private nursing home room could range from $70,000 up to $120,000+ depending on where you are in the country. In California, you should plan for the higher end of the cost spectrum.

If you want to have choices in your health care needs later in life, when other insurance does not cover those options, smart planning is needed to maintain your policy and dignity in long term care health and services.

What can you do about it?

Here are several steps you can take to avoid a lapse of coverage and loss of your financial premium investment.

First, when you consult with a California Long Term Care Insurance Services specialist (CLTC), ask them to make sure they find a carrier that will allow you to add a trusted friend or family member that can receive premium payment reminders. If you suffer from a cognitive impairment as your long-term care health need, you will need someone who can help maintain your policy and make decisions so it remains affordable and more importantly in force when those health expenses come due.

Second, work with your CLTC services specialist to be critical about planning the ongoing costs of your policy so that you do not find yourself making a decision you cannot afford for the long term. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a single 55-year-old male could expect on average an annual premium of $1,060 for $164,000 in coverage… females are a little higher at $1,390.

Third, work with your CLTC services specialist to set some decisions in place on what should happen if the insurance carrier has to take a rate increase to protect the longevity of its policyholders. These decisions could include reducing the daily benefit, or extending the elimination period (the delay in days to when a policy pays benefits).

Your CLTC services specialist can show you these decisions and how they would affect your premiums today, so you can know if you or your representative need to make them in the future what they could look like. You could also discuss reducing inflation coverage protection, or reducing the amount of time your policy pays out benefits, for example 3 years instead of 5 years.

Lastly, starting this conversation today with your CLTC services specialist is the best decision. There is no reason to delay planning, as there is never any cost or obligation to get your questions answered by a professional CLTC services specialist.

Fill out the form to the right, download your Free guide, and Start The Conversation Today!

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Don’t Forget About This LTC Gap In Your Retirement Planning!

bridge_the_ltc_gapWhen thinking about retirement, Medicare might come to mind. Depending on your prescription drug needs, it is possible you could hit what is lovingly referred to as the “donut hole” where coverage for your drugs stops until you reach the next coverage point.

For many people this gap in prescription drug coverage can cost several thousand dollars, but insurers have come up with options to provide some coverage in the donut hole.

However, the gap we are referring to is not the Medicare donut hole.

The gap we are referring to could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, leave your estate drained, and cause hardship among your loved ones when reality finally sets in, and the bills come due.

The shocking truth is that most people in the US have failed to plan for long-term care costs. Considering almost 70% require some form of long-term care in retirement, it is hard to believe it goes unplanned.

There is a simple 2-step fix to this issue though.

Step 1 is to determine if there is a gap and how much it is. This can be done quick and easy by using the US Department of Health and Human Services calculator at the following link:

When you get to this page you will be asked a few simple questions such as your age, your gender, where you plan to retire, the amount you can save each month to pay for future long term care, and the expected rate of return you will get from your investment of that money.

To save you some time, we took the liberty to come up with several calculations and outlined them here:

Female Age 55, Plans to retire in California, Saves $500 per month at 10% return

Your Results

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $784,878.00
Your projected savings amount: $649,091.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: -$135,787.00

At Age 50 with same assumptions:

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $1,001,725.00
Your projected savings amount: $1,085,661.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: +$83,936.00

Female Age 55, Plans to retire in California, Saves $500 per month at 5% return

Your Results

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $784,878.00
Your projected savings amount: $300,681.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: -$484,197.00

At Age 50 with same assumptions:

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $1,001,725.00
Your projected savings amount: $418,565.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: -$583,160.00

Male Age 55, Plans to retire in California, Saves $500 per month at 10% return

Your Results

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $509,006.00
Your projected savings amount: $649,091.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: +$140,085.00

At Age 50 with same assumptions:

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $649,635.00
Your projected savings amount: $1,085,661.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: +$436,026.00

Male Age 55,

Plans to retire in California, Saves $500 per month at 5% return

Your Results

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation): $509,006.00
Your projected savings amount: $300,681.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan: -$208,325.00

At Age 50 with same assumptions:

*Cost of care in California (adjusted for inflation)    $649,635.00
Your projected savings amount          $418,565.00
The gap between cost of care and your savings plan  -$231,070.00

Step 2 is also simple. Contact a California Long Term Care Insurance Services Specialist today for a no obligation planning session to help you cover the gap in your retirement plan when it comes to your health.

Fill out the form to the right of this page, download your Free guide and get started now!

*The cost of care was based on an estimate of long-term care spending over remaining life at age 65. The key assumptions are that 69% use some form of LTC (paid & unpaid) with 58% having LTC payments. In 2005 real dollars, for those that use services, the average was $150,000. Women ($166,878) use more than men ($108,180). On average those who use LTC, the average length of use is 4.35 years with 2.3 years being paid.

Life Insurance That Pays For Long Term Care? 2 Birds 1 Stone.

Life Insurance with Long Term Care riderWhen people think of life insurance, in most cases, they think about end of life. However, did you know that some life insurance policies could also help while you are still alive?

In a recent news article on the they offered an example which, in certain life insurance policies you can opt for a rider that also pays long term care benefits. Should you access those benefits, your overall death benefit is reduced by that amount, up to the value of the insurance.

The long-term care riders are usually attached through an accelerated benefits rider, or extension of benefits rider. The accelerated benefits rider usually kicks in when it has been determined that your life expectancy is 12 months or less.

The extension of benefits rider is just like it sounds, not only do you get the life benefit, but the insurer may also offer long-term care, and for an extra premium, you can add that on to your life policy and have a more complete plan in place, and only pay one premium amount for the coverage.

If you are someone that has some assets to protect, has a concern about income in retirement, and has a concern about your health needs in retirement and like to plan, a life policy with a long-term care rider might be a good place to look.

Before taking any actions though, it is recommended that you speak with your qualified representatives to make sure the plan you are thinking about fits with your tax and other planning needs.

And considering that nearly 70% of people age 65 and older will require some form of long term care health assistance in their lifetime, it would be a wise decision to plan ahead before something happens that prevents you from qualifying for long term care insurance.

Long-term care insurance helps pay for medical needs that Medicare, disability, and normal health insurance does not cover. People that require long-term care often have trouble with performing ADLs (activities of daily living). These activities include eating, dressing, bathing, mobility, continence, or suffering from cognitive impairments.

To start learning about your available options, start your conversation with a California Long Term Care Insurance Services specialist today.

Fill out the form to the right and get started today!


Long-Term Care Insurance Statistics That Affect Your Planning

long-term care insurance statisticsIn a recent Morningstar article on Long Term Care statistics, author Christie Benz, Morningstar’s director of personal finance and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions, outlined industry statistics you should know when planning your insurance needs in retirement.

According to Benz, “Ultimately, the decision about whether to purchase long-term-care insurance is a highly personal one, dependent on an individual’s or couple’s asset level and desire to leave a bequest, health history, and the peace of mind derived from having the coverage, among other factors.”

So what does some of the long-term care insurance and services look like by the numbers Benz researched?

  • 8 Million People experience problems with daily living activities, i.e., bathing, dressing, washing, eating, and other basic needs.
  • 13 Million Adults have difficulty living independently.
  • 44% of men will need long-term care services during their lifetime.
  • 58% of women will need those same services during their lifetime.
  • 4% is the 5 year annual inflation rate in nursing home costs for private and semi-private rooms. If you do not have an inflation rider on your policy, it is worth 4% less each year you own it.
  • $5,518 is the median total household wealth of people that have lived in a nursing home for 6 months or more. Do you think asset protection is important now?
  • $450 Billion is the estimate value of unpaid care provided by friends and family members caring for a loved one.
  • $7.8 Billion is the amount of claims paid for long-term care in 2014.
  • 45% is the number of applications denied to applicants’ age 70-79 who put off planning and now have health issues to manage.
  • 100% if you have not started planning, the time is now.

Contact your California Long Term Care Insurance Services specialist today for a no obligation conversation about your options. Start by filling out the form to the right and downloading your Free Guide.


What Can Kansas Teach California About Long Term Care Insurance?

About California Long-term care insuranceAccording to a recent article by journalist Megan Hart for, she noted that although Kansas has seen long-term care insurance premiums rise as much as 60%, this policy makes sense for those with assets to protect in retirement.

You have probably heard a number of stories about long-term care insurance premiums going up, often double-digit increases. There is a good explanation for this phenomenon.

The fact is, we are living longer, and the smart ones that get the benefit of long-term care insurance protection are keeping their policies longer. Some insurance companies that priced long-term care insurance many years ago based their models on people not living as long, and letting their policies cancel.

This is no longer the case for long-term care insurance protection. Long-term care insurance covers health and medical needs not found in Medicare or disability insurance. The items long-term care covers are nursing home services, assisted living services, in-home care, and/or adult day services.

The confusion over long-term care and Medicare comes from one specific Medicare benefit. According to Hart, “Medicare covers short-term nursing home care only after a beneficiary has been hospitalized.” This benefit is also limited to 100 days of care.

Where long-term care insurance steps in is when the condition is chronic, i.e., stroke, certain types of cancer that require living assistance, dementia, Alzheimer’s, MS, and many other health conditions that can prevent a person from being able to perform certain activities of daily living independently.

These activities of daily living are the ability to dress, bath, eat, and care for yourself without assistance. The most shocking statistic we have read to date is that 70% of people age 65 and older will require some form of long-term care health assistance.

It is possible to qualify for Medicaid (Government Help) to pay for long-term care services in a nursing home, but the typical asset limit to qualify is under $2,000. So, if you are someone that has been able to save a nest egg, and you would like to protect it, long-term care insurance could be the shield that protects your nest from financial destruction.

Getting the conversation started about long-term care insurance is easy and only takes a few minutes. Start now filling out the form to the right of this page and by contacting your licensed California Long Term Care Insurance Services specialist today!


What Can Japan Teach California About Long Term Care?

Long-term care JapanIn a recent Forbes article, contributor Chris Farrell, award winning journalist and senior economics contributor to Next Avenue, discussed how Japan’s policies and vision of long term care has shifted over time.

When you think of Japan and their culture you might think about how the younger generations are to care and respect their parents and elders.

However, with the shift in their economy and changing family values, according to Farrell, “Japan’s family-centered approach foundered, due to demographic and economic changes. Daughters and daughters-in-law — the primary caregivers — grew overwhelmed by the task, especially with the trend toward fewer children and more women joining the workforce.”

Farrell continues his discussion on how what we may think about Japanese children caring for their elders showed in a 1994 survey that one in two caregivers treated frail older relatives abusively; one of three also reported feelings of hatred.

The financial and emotional toll endured when taking care of an elder loved one who is no longer able to dress, bath, feed, and/or care for themselves is hard for trained people, let alone, the untrained people with an emotional connection.

Sadly, although we have the best intentions at heart when we talk about willingness to care for mom and dad, or hope that our kids will take care of us in our old age, we should never expect the people we care for to sacrifice their own life for ours; that is truly selfish.

The average American age 55 to 64 has a median retirement savings of $104,000 according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. The 70% of people age 65 and older who will access long term care services during their lives, “can expect to incur costs of $138,000, on average” according to Melissa Favreault of the Urban Institute and Judith Dey of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Remember, that is an average, some will be substantially more, others will be less.

Do you see the problem?

It is important when considering your future heath care planning needs that you also take in account the emotional and financial needs of the people that you care for to.

It is time to start planning your long-term care health insurance today.

Contact your California Long Term Care Insurance Services agent today.


A Costly Mistake in California Long-Term Care Planning!

mistake in california long-term care planningWhen you hear the term long-term care insurance, does it make you jump for joy or run in fear?

A problem that has been floating around in the long-term care insurance industry is one for the insurers themselves. According to a recent article in the New York Times, it was discussed how many policyholders in New York, among many other states, are now getting letters from their insurers informing them that they are going to have a rate increase of 48 to 60 percent!

This is not the experience that makes someone feel warm and fuzzy about their insurer. Especially after buying the policy that will make a huge difference in their life when they need to access the benefits.

The problem, and why these drastic rate increases are happening is explained in the article. To summarize, insurers use actuaries who determine the risk the company is going to face, and more importantly how to price that risk so the company can stay in business, make a profit, and still pay its claims.

“Insurance regulators in many states have been approving large increases in long-term care premiums for older policies, as it became clear that insurers badly misjudged the pricing on the policies and are losing money on them. In particular, regulators say, insurers overestimated the number of consumers who would let their policies lapse before filing claims. That means more people are holding on to the policies, raising the likelihood of more claims” (Carrins, 2015, pp. 2).

The reality of long-term care insurance is twofold. One, 70% of people age 65 and older will need some form of long-term care services that will not be covered by Medicare. Two, long-term care services are incredibly expensive with quality home care services starting around $25 through an agency, up to $500 per day for residential facility based care.

The bet that insurers made on policyholders letting those policies lapse, not having to pay out potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single claim did not hold true, and now they need to make adjustments.

That is why it is crucial you take the time to investigate all the companies you are considering for long-term care insurance. You should review their records with the State insurance regulators to see how often they request rate increases, how much those requests are for in terms of percentage increase, and how they are rated by 3rd parties (Standard & Poor, Moody’s, etc.). You want to see if they have the financial strength to pay out large claims without taking a rate increase or finding a way out of paying the claim at all!

It is a lot of work to take on, and that is why by working with a trained, licensed, and skilled professional you can avoid this costly mistake in California long-term care planning.

Fill out the form to the right of this page to contact your California long-term care specialist today for a no-cost, no-obligation review of all your options, and the companies that can provide them.


Carrins, A., (9/2/2015), Managing The Costs Of Long Term Care Insurance, New York Times, retrieved 9/7/15

What Happened to Federal Employee Long-Term Care Insurance?

ferderal employee long-term care insuranceIn a recent Washington Post article on August 4, writer Eric Yoder covered the recent change in federal employee long-term care insurance premiums that took them by surprise.

According to the article, on August 1, with no warning, new enrollees for the FLTCIP program found out rates were going up! It was reported that the OPM, Office of Personnel Management decided to withhold this rate increase so they did not confuse people who obtained insurance prior to the August 1 rate change.

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) is offered through a contract between the OPM and John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company. This was an unusual event because these contracts are negotiated and announced months in advance; waiting to the last minute was a surprise to many federal employees who had not yet elected for the voluntary coverage options available.

Like many other people considering long-term care insurance however, it goes to show you that putting off that decision to protect your future health care needs can and will cost you money.

The premium increase affects federal employees, military personnel, retirees, and certain family members. According to the article, the rate increase was determined by both OPM and John Hancock to plan for adequate coverage of claims for future healthcare costs. Considering 70% of people age 65 and older will require some form of long-term care health assistance, it is a smart to make sure the company you choose will have the money to pay when the bills come due.

That is why the specialists at California Long Term Care not only work with John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, but many other top quality providers to find you the best coverage at a fair and reasonable price. Working with a specialist in long-term care health planning can save you the headaches and frustration that come with picking the wrong company, or being caught in an unexpected rate modification.

Fill out the form to the right of this page to contact your California Long Term Care insurance specialist today for a free review of your options!


Are You A “Narrow Framer” On California Long-Term Care Insurance decision?

long-term care decision

There are often more than two choices when it comes down to making a decision!

According to a recent article on, two facts were offered. The first fact is, 70% of people will need some form of long-term care in their homes, in a short stay facility, or in a long-term custodial facility, and it will be expensive.

The second fact is simply that most people will not get insurance to help cover the 70% chance you will have expensive medical bills that no one, other than welfare will cover, and only if you meet the incredibly strict financial requirements.

Dr. Olivia Mitchell and Dr. Daniel Gottlieb of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania wanted to know if there was a deeper reason on why people hesitate on long-term care insurance decision when the odds you will need long-term care services are 70%.

In their national study of people over age 50, they discovered a common occurrence that psychologists refer to as “Narrow Framing”.

According to Dr. Karyn Hall of, “Narrow framing means that you are not considering all the alternatives available to you–you are defining your choices too narrowly. Narrow frame thinking would be when you are asking yourself if you should take a certain action or not, or which of two actions would be better. For example, should you move to a new city or not? Should you go for a walk or read a book? Restricting yourself to two choices limits your alternatives. You may not even consider options that would be better.”

Narrow framing as you have read affects your ability to make good decisions. This is not just about buying long-term care insurance, chances are you could have made larger decision in life that had a negative outcome, which in hindsight, had you considered other options, you would have been ok.

Whether you are a “Narrow Framer” or just your regular self, we invite you to learn about your options when it comes to long-term care insurance decision in California. Being able to make well educated decision that examine all the options is your best course of action.

Fill out the form to the right of this page and speak with your California Long Term Care specialist today!




Have You Accepted The Default Long-Term Care plan?

Default Long-term care planIn a recent article on 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.


O’Brien, E., (June 2015) Can you afford $5,000 a year for long-term care insurance? Retrieved 8/9/2015 at