Joining me on my latest podcast was Rona Loshak of Karp Loshak LTC, a highly accredited, award winning specialist in Long Term Care Insurance. She shared some incredibly insightful and important information I wanted to make sure got to you. Below are some key takeaways everyone should know when it comes to LTC Insurance.
What is LTC Insurance?
Long Term Care Insurance (AKA LTC Insurance) is an insurance product that helps pay for the costs associated with long term care. It supplements coverage provided by your health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
The Misconceptions About LTC
Getting older was really only fun to think about when you were 13 and grounded. Now that we’re all adults, growing old is a part of life, but many of us would rather seize the moment and live it day by day. The issue with that is it leaves many of us lacking understanding about what LTC means, or the necessities it covers. Here are some of the top misconceptions Rona and her firm encounter when it comes to LTC.
“I’ll never need LTC!” - Most people think they’ll never need long term care. However, once you’re age 80, there’s an 80% chance you’ll need long term care. Why? Because medical advances are leading to longer life.
“My husband/wife will take care of me” - This may have been feasible when you were living into your 70s and early 80s, but many people are now living into their 90s. And while medical advances may help us live longer, age has its costs, including mobility and strength. There just comes a point where you both may need more help than the other can provide.
“I’ll go on Medicaid like my grandmother” - Unfortunately Medicaid won’t be there for you like it was for granny. With the baby boomer generation moving into LTC, it’s unsustainable for the government to maintain past support levels. Therefore the funding is focused on people with lower incomes and high medical triggers (i.e. bedridden).
“LTC insurance is nursing home insurance” - LTC insurance is the exact opposite of nursing home insurance. LTC insurance is a separate pool of money that pays for care in any setting. It can be used to help cover in-home care, or assist you in upgrading to a community care facility of your choosing.
“It’s too expensive” - LTC insurance can come in at whatever price point works for you. There are many plans available to you, and there are also tax incentives in NYS that provide credits and deductions.
“I may move to Florida. Do I have to get a plan there?” - To put it simply, NO. Plans are portable. They follow you to whatever state you end up in, and some even work internationally.
Who Should Be Planning for LTC Insurance?
Is LTC Insurance right for you? Below we’ve listed the five categories of people who should be planning to purchase LTC coverage.
When it comes to LTC claims, ⅔ of them come from women. Women need more protection than men given their longer life span. In addition, if you are a woman who is married, you and your spouse will need to be insured so that the wife doesn’t end up the caregiver for the husband, potentially compromising her health, physical and financial well being.
Blended families are also at risk given that everyone and no one is responsible for long term care and this can cause a tremendous amount of stress in the home.
People with family members who have already been diagnosed with neurological conditions as LTC may be a close reality.
If you’re partner/spouse is uninsurable for various reasons, you should be getting insured as they may be using up the majority of your retirement assets if they require LTC.
Anyone between the ages of 40 and 79 who wants their choice of care - Oftentimes it is recommended to consider LTC insurance around the age of 50 after your children have left your home.
Getting educated on LTC: Where to begin
One of the best places for you to start your LTC insurance journey is with your advisor. They understand that LTC expenses can add up very quickly, and shifting them to an insurance company makes the most sense. Having LTC insurance helps leverage your current finances more effectively, so your long term financial plan can continue to support one of both spouses outside of LTC. Your advisor can help you connect with the right people to begin planning your LTC coverage.
Somewhat like your life insurance, your LTC coverage all begins with a prequalification for health. Until an insurer has your health information, you really can’t begin exploring your options. Once that information has been settled on, an LTC special like Rona will go over your options and refine them to meet your long term needs and your current financial circumstances.
Like other insurance products, LTC has an upfront cost with long term payouts. However, in this case, you or your spouse are likely to directly benefit from this coverage. If you’re interested in learning more about LTC insurance, or you’re ready to begin exploring those financial situations, feel free to reach out to me or Rona Loshak today at firstname.lastname@example.org