Why Now?

The Need For Long-Term Care Insurance

It's amazing, but true. In a little over 200 years life expectancy in the United States has doubled. In frontier America only 1 in 10 people could expect to see age 65. Today almost 80% of us will live past age 65. What is really remarkable, based on trends projected by the Social Security Administration an estimated 12 million Americans alive today will bring in the NEXT century in 2100!

But as more and more Americans age, they suffer chronic disabling conditions that require long term care either at home or in a nursing home. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke and memory loss predominately cause chronic disability among those over age 50.

Many people find out the hard way that Medicare and Health insurance DO NOT cover most long term care costs. Instead those who need extended care must rely on their IRA's, 401ks and investments to pay for care and when those are reduced, turn to Medicaid.

Medicaid is the federal/state welfare program that pays for health care for the poor. Since Medicaid is an entitlement for the Nursing Facility only, choice is diminished.

What Is Long Term Care?

Long Term Care is the help needed to assist in the performance of activities of daily living. These activities include: bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, transferring/mobility and feeding. Care may also be needed to assist an individual with a severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease). Long term care may be provided in a person's home, in adult day care, assisted living or a nursing home Long term care may be provided in a person's home, in adult day care, assisted living or a nursing home Long term care may be provided in a person's home, in adult day care, assisted living or a nursing home.

The types of care that peoplereceive fall into the category of skilled or custodial.

Skilled care is administered by a skilled nurse or therapist.
Custodial care is help with routine activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, transferring/mobility and feeding.

Both types of care are available 24 hours a day. The most common types is custodial care.

Some Compelling Facts About Long-Term Care

One of the best ways to fully understand the urgency and magnitude of the emotional, physical and financial cost-crisis of long term care is to examine the facts:

Fact: "One in five Americans over age 50 are at high risk of needing long-term care service during the next 12 months!"
-
Harvard university study 1995

Fact: "The average cost of a one year stay in a nursing home in New Jersey currently runs $50,000-$90,000 per year. Care at home runs about $18 per hour or about $25,000-$60,000 per year."
- 2002 ElderCare Associates, Inc.

Fact: "Long Term Care Insurance helps ensure you receive the level of care you need, in the setting you choose, without losing your life savings."
- Business Week 10/14/96

Fact: "Medicaid's spigot is being shut off ... currently there are two options: save enough to cover your own expenses or buy Long Term Care Insurance."
- Newsweek 11/20/95

Long Term Care: A National Health Care Crisis

The thought that care may be required for the rest of your life is an overwhelming thought. As a result, many people put off dealing with the issue.

Even though none of us ever thinks that we are the one to need long term care, I encourage you to ask the following questions:

- What would happen if I suddenly needed Long Term Care?
- How would this affect my family?
- What would happen to my IRA, 401k and investments?
- What is my Plan Today?

Even though no one ever plans on needing long term health care, it makes sense to ask yourself the following questions: "What would happen if I suddenly required long term health care? How would I pay for it? What effect would it have on my family? Would the cost of such care seriously deplete my hard earned assets?"

Why The Reluctance To Plan ForThe Event?

If you value a secure future and your family’s financial independence, you’ll not only pursue answers to these critical questions, but also seek a viable solution to what is quickly becoming the number-one worry of retirement.

Throughout my experience meeting with several thousand people over the past decade, I notice there are 3 common reasons or excuses given by most individuals to explain why they don’t have or think they need long term care insurance. They are:

1) "I’m never going to need care!"
2) "I’m already covered by Medicare or Health Insurance at work."
3) "I can’t afford the insurance."

Let’s explore each of these concerns.

"I'm Never Going To Need Care!"

People who fall into this category state emphatically “I’m never going to need care! I’m the picture of health. I golf, play tennis, swim, jog, run the marathon in New York, Boston and Kenya (annually). Ironically, those who take care of themselves the best may need long term care the most, because they won’t die suddenly of a massive heart attack.

While many people perceive the risk of needing long term care to be less than 25%, the actual risk for needing care (either home care or nursing home care) is over 50% according to a 1994-1995 profile by the health insurance association of America/Life Plans, Inc. For many people it won’t be nursing home care they need as much as in-home care. However, in-home care in New Jersey can cost almost as much as assisted living.

These troublesome statistics mean one thing to you: When it comes to the risk of neeeding long-term care; the other guy may be you.

"I'm already covered."

People who fall into the second category are commonly overheard saying, "I’m already covered. I have Medicare or Health Insurance. And if those don’t cover me, Medicaid will."

The fact is this: Most long-term care costs are not covered by Medicare or Health Insurance. And Medicaid will help only after you spend down your assets.

In the past, it has been common practice for people to transfer assets to qualify for Medicaid. Some things to consider currently:

1) Qualifying for Medicaid is becoming increasingly difficult.
2) Your choice of care may be severely diminished if Medicaid pays your bills.
3) Do you really want to rely on a bankrupt Medicaid system to shelter your assets?

I just can't afford more insurance."

Finally, people who fall into this category are overheard saying, "Okay, private long term care insurance may be seansible, but "im paying for medical insurance, care insurance as well as homeowner insurance. I just can't afford any more insurance."

The fact is this: some level of long term care insurance is propbably more sensible then having no long term care insurance at all.

If you cannot afford or are not willing to pay premiums on long term care insurance today, how are you going to afford $50,000-$100,000 annual cost of care tomorrow?

REASONS WHY PEOPLE ACT NOW TO ACQUIRE LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE.

If you come to the conclusion that some level of insurance is needed, there are two reasons to act now.

First and foremost is the desire to protect your insurability. To own long term care coverage, you must health qualify. If your health changes, it could render your uninsurable for long term care insurance.

The second reason to act now is that the premium is based on the age that you apply. Simply put, the younger you are, the lower the premiums.

PROTECT YOURSELF NOW AGAINST THE POTENTIALLY CRIPPLING COSTS OF LONG TERM CARE.

Many financial experts agree that living longer - and the significant health care cost associated with is phenomenon- has created a new and truly serious need for theis insurance. as a matter of fact, a plan to guard against the cost of long term care is now the single most important health insurance purchase that today's consumers can make.

For a relatively small cost today, most people can help insulate themselves against the emotional traum and financial tragedy of long term care expenses of perhaps $100,000 to over $1,000,000 down the road.

In conclusion, if you think that Long Term Care Insurance seems rational, explore the option Today. Tomorrow may be too late.

 

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