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Long-Term Care

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Separating Long Term Care Insurance Myths from Realities
By Kenneth Schulman, CLTC

(Page 4 of 4)
  • Daily Benefit: Understanding the current cost of care in the area is very important in helping to make a decision as to what daily benefit amount is needed for care, and which policies can help meet that need.
  • Benefit Period: The length of time payments will be received from the insurance company, once care is needed, is difficult to predetermine, so many opt for policies with lifetime or unlimited benefits. Many policies often come with shorter benefit period options as well, which is a good upfront cost-saving measure from an annual premium perspective.
  • Elimination Period or Deductible: The number of days that policy holders will be responsible for paying for their care before the policy coverage kicks in is an another important factor.  The amount of time one can afford to pay for care or to make other arrangements is critical in helping determine the policy elimination period.
  • Inflation Protection: In a May 2003 report, the American Health Care Association estimated the average cost of a nursing home stay at $50,000 per year, or about $137 a day. In Florida, the exact percentage of inflation cannot be calculated due to the unpredictability of how market factors will impact the cost in future years. By adding inflation protection, people can help ensure they have adequate benefits in the future.

The government is there for people who need long-term care

Donít count on it entirely.  Many think they can rely on Medicare or Medicaid, but donít realize that Medicare covers only a limited amount of long-term care services, while Medicaid covers some long-term care services Ė primarily care in a nursing home Ė for people who have limited income and assets.

Thinking long-term as caregivers and caregiver supporters, and doing our part to raise awareness, are strong initial steps in eliminating the myths about long-term care. Preparing well in advance to meet our own needs and those of our loved ones should undoubtedly be our first step.

 


Kenneth Schulman, CLTC, LTC Specialist, is with DBS Financial Group, MassMutualís South Florida general agency in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.  You can reach Ken via e-mail at kschulman@finsvcs.com or by calling (954) 938-8800. C: 72951

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