WHY INSURANCE PLANNING IS IMPORTANT
Needing long-term care puts an enormous emotional and physical strain on your loved ones and family members. By planning ahead of time, you can help manage this burden. Also, as you age, your health may change, which could make it difficult to get coverage in the future. This is why it’s important to start planning now while you have the most options.
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WHAT IS LONG-TERM CARE
Long-term care (LTC) goes beyond medical care to include all the assistance you could need if you ever have a chronic illness or disability that leaves you unable to care for yourself for an extended period of time (longer than 90 days). While older people generally require the most long-term care services, 40% of long-term care claims are paid to someone under the age of 64.* A young or middle-aged person who has suffered a debilitating illness or accident may also require care. You may require long-term care due to Dementia/Alzheimer’s, stroke, complications with diabetes or ther chronic conditions.
* U.S. Government Accountability Office
WOULD HEALTHCARE INSURANCE OR MEDICARE COVER THESE COSTS
Healthcare, including Medicare, pays for skilled or rehabilitative services only, and it doesn’t cover custodial care. Medicare may cover a portion of the first 100 days of care received at a nursing facility if specific program requirements are met. After the first 100 days, you’ll have to cover your own costs. Medicaid is the joint federal and state welfare program for those with low income and limited financial resources. Eligibility restrictions such as gifting money to loved ones, transferring assets into trusts, and creating promissory notes make it increasingly difficult to qualify for this program.
WAYS TO FUND YOUR LONG-TERM CARE
Traditional LTC Insurance
These policies offer flexibility in benefits to help you design a plan that addresses your specific needs. It also may limit out-of-pocket expenses. Good health and partner discounts help manage the cost of these premiums.
Life Insurance with LTC Riders
Many insurance carriers are now offering a long-term care rider that acts as an added benefit to a permanent life insurance product. This type of policy is advantageous for those clients who are primarily looking for life insurance, because they’re actually securing two forms of insurance in one package
Single Premium Life/Long-Term Care Insurance
These product options, also known as linked benefit products, may be an appropriate option to self-insure. This product offers a simplified application process for life and long-term care. In the event you don’t require long-term care, the death benefit will be paid income tax free to your requested beneficiaries. Such products may also include Return of Premium features that returns the premiums paid for coverage if you survive the policy’s terms. Such producers may also include a return of premium feature. At any time, you can request a return of premium upon full surrender of the policy. The amount received will be adjusted for any benefits paid and any loans and cash withdrawals. Note: It may have tax implications.
The cost and availability of Life Insurance depend on many factors such as age, health, and amount of insurance purchased. In addition to premiums, there are contract limitations, fees, exclusions, reductions of benefits, and charges associated with policy. And if a policy is surrendered prematurely, there may be surrender charges and income tax implications. Riders are additional guarantee options that are available to an annuity or life insurance contract holder. While some riders are part of an existing contract, many others may carry additional fees, charges and restrictions, and the policy holder should review their contract carefully before purchasing.