Why Now? In the absence of a crystal ball … It is important to look into your Long-Term Care Insurance options NOW.
By Natalie Karp, MBA, CLTC and Rona Loshak, MBA, CLTC
Planning from a position of strength is a game changer. Especially when it comes to planning for your long-term care. LTC Insurance is typically one of the last pieces of your family and lifestyle protection. Today’s landscape is changing rapidly, and given the realities of underwriting and pricing- LTC merits timely consideration.
Here’s are 16 reasons why it should be on your short list:
1. Your options for planning when young and healthy are where the smart money is. Planning “in crisis mode” offers less choice and will cost you more. Fiduciaries, professional advisors, elder care and trust and estates attorneys are recommending LTC Insurance to clients who can medically qualify and afford the premiums.
2. Flexibility and independence. Medicare and Medicare supplements were not designed to pay for long term care. Medicaid is not a panacea. Today we have managed Medicaid. In 20-30 years, when Boomers demand services, there will be less available resources. There are medical and financial triggers for Medicaid, and qualifying will be more difficult. LTC Insurance provides a private pool of money with uniform contract language for medical triggers (2 out of 6 ADL’s or supervision for cognitive impairment) for conditions that are expected to last 90 days or longer. The condition does not have to be a permanent or terminal. LTC means choice.
3. Tax incentives. Both the state and federal government have encouraged consumers to take action for planning. Between both federal and state incentives, 1/3 of LTC Insurance premiums may be mitigated or “paid for”.
4. Unisex pricing is being replaced with gender based pricing. This means women’s pricing will increase 20-40% as the next generation policies hit the market. Why? The claims data shows that women are 2/3 of claims. Ladies – timing will never be better.
5. The numbers speak for themselves. It costs more to self-insure. Tax consequences of liquidating assets and lost opportunity costs, result in 10 x greater costs vs. shifting the risk to anm insurance carrier for pennies on the dollar.
6. Who needs a crystal ball when you have a magic wand? “ I am not going to age, become frail or need care.” The fact is 44% of care is for people under the age of 65.
7. Longevity. Have you seen the display of Happy Birthday greeting cards for those who are 80–90-and 100 years of age? 80% of us, once we turn age 80 will need some form of long-term care.
8. Your spouse will be older or deceased. And, your adult children have busy lives, and children of their own. It is unrealistic to count on them for your day-to-day care needs.
9. It’s not easy to get, and getting harder to qualify for. Companies have strict underwriting guidelines, and will soon consider family history. Your health can change on a dime. The cost of waiting may mean that you are uninsurable.
10. “Aging in Place” is the new paradigm. 82% of care is given at home and in the community. Long Term Care Insurance pays for care in ANY environment – not just facility care.
11. Waiting costs more. Not just annually, but cumulatively. The benefit of “locking in age”, preferred health discounts (15-20%) and partner discounts (25-30%) are in place for the life of the policy. You will never be as young as you are today. Lock in your age and good health.
12. Cash. Today’s plans have generous cash alternatives. Cash is always king and can stretch your benefit dollars. The next generation of policies will offer less.
13. Life / LTC Plans. These hybrid plans offer the best of both worlds solutions. We call them “Live, Die or Change your Mind” plans. Live = LTC benefits. Die = Death Benefit. Change you mind = Return of Premium.
14. Shared care plans. For couples that can health qualify, shared pools provide flexibility, increased benefit and are cost effective.
15. Avoid the “guilty spouse syndrome” when one spouse is uninsurable. It is critical for the healthy spouse to have LTC Insurance. The unhealthy spouse will be using the retirement assets for care.
16. Doing nothing is not the answer. Something is always better than nothing. Plans are customizable. If you are lucky enough get an offer, and be in this exclusive club, plans can address any budget. Planning for long term care will protect your most important assets: your independence, your family and your lifestyle. And, who needs a crystal ball when you’re working from strength?
Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions
Licensed in NY, NJ, CT, FL, CA, MA, DC, GA, NC, OH, PA, MI, MN, VA, SD and all State Partnership Plans
Karp Loshak LTC Insurance is a trusted source of information for individuals and their trusted advisors. As independent brokers we are affiliated with all leading LTC Insurance carriers which allows us to educate, analyze, and recommend suitable LTC insurance options based on health, medications, age, marital status, budget and lifestyle.
To speak with us directly, call 516.801.1419, we’re friendly. Or, to schedule time, send us an email.
Let us help with the heavy lifting. Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions is transforming the LTC planning experience for consumers and their advisors.