Plan for Health Care, Get LTCI Company Quotes

A fellow blogger and long term care writer, Roberta Mejia of http://longtermcareglossary.blogspot.com/ shared with us some tips on early planning for health care and how getting LTCI quotes can be beneficial for those who are considering long term care insurance. ________________________________________________________________________________

Plan for Health Care, Get LTCI Company Quotes  

Do you already have a sound retirement plan?  Or in case you acquire a chronic disease or disabling condition, do you have a pool of money prepared to pay for the cost of custodial services?  Have you even sought LTCI company quotes to have an idea about long term care insurance (LTCI) prices?

 Planning can help you a lot in many ways.  It is an effective preparation strategy and similarly, it is a good money-saving tip.  So how do you start?

First, try to analyze your needs.  What is your health condition today?  Are you in good health or do you have some conditions that may worsen in the future.  Try to seek your doctor’s help in this assessment.  Such evaluation can help you determine what type of care you will likely require in the future.

Second, do your own research.  Find out what are the available health care plans for you.  How do they differ from each other and what advantage does one coverage have over the other?  More importantly, will this insurance be able to cater to your needs?  If you believe that there may be a possibility that you will require some assistance in activities of daily living, then a long term care insurance plan will likely be your best bet.

Third, when you have made your mind about the type of policy that you would like to purchase, the next thing to know is what companies offer this.  You can do your own background investigation of these companies then create a shortlist based on your own standards.

Fourth, when you already have listed your choices, it’s time to learn about the cost of this plan.  Get LTCI company quotes from all the agencies you have listed.  This will allow you to compare and save on LTC costs.  See which of them offer the most affordable price.

Cost would play a major role in your decision on whether to purchase an insurance policy or not.  Policy prices increase rapidly annually.  Buy a policy while you are still young and don’t let the rising cost of medical care affect your health care in the later years. 

With a Long Term Care policy you’ll have the funds to pay for nursing home care, adult day care, residential care or any other types of senior living aid.  Get LTCI quotes today, start preparing for a pool of money for care, and avoid having to face financial problems in your retirement years. 

Obama Leads Poll on Support on Long Term Care Insurance

In a tight presidential race, voter sentiment on religion, race, jobs or contraception could tip the balance. Or “the decisive issue just might be a health problem that jeopardizes almost every American family,” says Jonas Roeser, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations for LTC Financial Partners LLC (LTCFP), one of the nation’s most experienced long term care insurance agencies.

“Almost 3 in 4 people over 65 will need long-term care at some point, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” he says. “But most don’t have a plan to pay for this care, meaning their close relatives could be hit hard in the pocketbook. That includes just about everybody.”

So far the candidates have been mute on the long-term care insurance (LTCI) issue, and it’s high time for them to speak out, according to Roeser. So, to gain attention, his organization launched a straw poll on March 26. It asked just one question:

* Which candidate (President Barack Obama or the Republican choice) is more likely to promote new federal incentives to help Americans afford private long-term care insurance?

About a third, 33 percent, picked President Obama, while two-thirds, 67 percent, picked the Republican candidate, whoever it might be. “If this reflects the feelings of the broad population,” says Roeser, “it could be a wake-up call for President Obama and his people. And it could be something the Republicans can make hay with.”

President Obama might have been seen as the champion of long-term care insurance, since his Affordable Care Act included a public option for LTCI, the CLASS Act. But in October, 2011, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that her department was halting implementation of CLASS since a way could not be found to make it self-sustaining. “Now we need to rely entirely on the private sector,” says Roeser, “but the government can still help by introducing new tax breaks or other incentives to make it easier for people to protect themselves.”

Both candidates have an equal opportunity to work with Congress to make it happen, Roeser asserts. “Both can and should state their intentions now and frequently during the campaign. Doing so can be good for the country, and who knows? It just might determine who makes it into the White House.”

The straw poll will be kept open right up until the presidential election on November 6, tracking change in voter sentiment. “It will be an interesting horse race,” says Roeser. “Will the Republican candidate stay way ahead, or will President Obama close the gap and maybe win by a nose?”

Votes may be cast at either of two locations: http://www.ltcfp.com/2012poll or http://ltcguild.ning.com/page/election-poll . After voting, the visitor may view the latest, updated percentages and find other information about the LTC issue.

The straw poll is supported by the Long Term Care Insurance Guild, the social network for LTCI and allied professionals.

How Much Is Your Long Term Care Insurance?

Long term care costs increase at least 5% annually due to inflation.  This is only one of the many important factors that you should consider when you are requesting long term care quote for a potential policy.   

 

Having a long term care insurance (LTCI) policy is essential as this will serve as your best defense against the continuously soaring cost of care.  However, you have to study each component of your policy to ensure yourself of a coverage that will best suit your health care needs.  By simply basing your coverage on variables which others deem as ideal such as a high maximum benefit amount, five-year benefit period, 90-day elimination period, and a 5% annual compound inflation protection  you could put your health, budget and family on the line.

What is ideal to other people may not be for you.  To be able to clinch a policy that will match your long term care (LTC) requirements you have to work through proper calculation.  Practically everything in an LTCI policy, after all, involves calculation such as your daily benefit amount, coverage period, elimination period, inflation protection, not to mention that discounts that you will qualify for.

 

You cannot simply guess the total amount of benefits that you will need in the future or else you might end up underinsured; or you could risk overspending on your policy’s annual premium.  See to it that the amount of your insurance benefits will match the cost of  care in your area and that it will conform to your benefit period.

 

Calculating Your Long Term Care Quotes

 

It is highly recommended to work out your LTCI policy with a seasoned insurance agent who is not only affiliated with the country’s leading LTCI carriers but also adept in computing daily or monthly insurance benefits based on the specifications of his consumers.

 

You only have to furnish your LTCI agent with the necessary information before he can start gathering LTCI quotes which you can study and compare later on.  Your information sheet should include your present health condition, family’s health history, preferred LTC setting, pre-existing condition if you have any, and vices that you engage in such as smoking or drinking.

 

Having knowledge in the current cost of care in your area will also speed up your agent’s job.  Although you can easily look up the median annual cost of care in your state of residence, the figures that you will dig up will not be very helpful to your coverage because the rates of LTC facilities or services vary according to county, city or town.

 

For example, the median annual rate of nursing homes in the state you’re at is $75,000 but where you live it’s $79,000, so naturally you have to pattern your plan to the latter lest you risk facing bigger out-of-pocket expenses.

 

Requesting long term care quotes is only going to be beneficial if you know what you need.  Comparing quotes would be pointless to anyone who is unsure of what he is expecting for the future.

Senior Joke to Make you Feel Much Better

A senior citizen was walking across a damp meadow when he heard a female voice say, “Sir, I would like to ask a great favor of you “He looked around and saw only a frog sitting on a grass pod. “I must be going nuts,” he thought, “There’s no one here.”

The voice then said, “Please, sir. Please help me.”

Again all he saw was the frog, looking straight at him. “Who said that?” he asked rather loudly.

“I did, sir. I’m the frog. I was a beautiful 19-year-old princess but a witch put a spell on me. Please help me.”

The old man picked up the frog and held it in his hand. “How can I help you?” he asked.

“The only thing that will break the spell is to have a man kiss me in the mouth. Please do it for me, and then I will again turn into a beautiful, sexy, princess and I will really make you feel young again. I will make great love to you.”

The man closed his hand about the frog and stuffed it into his pocket. “At my age,” he said, “I’d rather have a talking frog.”

This can give you a good laugh at first but before you sleep at night this will make you think about your future, what kind of life you’ll have after retirement. Some would say that it’s too early to think about shopping for long term care quote while others consider purchasing long term care insurance early in their life. So what would it be?

You do not have control of the future, your children might just let you live on your own or make you move to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. It’s lonely and pathetic to face your retirement years alone. What you’ve read earlier is not just a story that can make you life and make you feel light. It shows you what happens in real life, you’ll grow old alone and you’ll be content in having a company of a talking frog.

If you don’t plan your future properly and you don’t consider shopping for long term care insurance quotes early, your retirement years would be very inconvenient and to make it worse you’ll brave it all alone. No one wants that, so consider long term care planning as early as you can.

How to Compare Long Term Care Quote

Shopping for long term care quote from major ltc carriers is easy but comparing long term care quotes is another story and it’s a bit complicated and hard. Here are some of the steps on how to make this task easy.

1. Familiarize yourself with the terms used

One thing that makes comparing quotes difficult a bit confusing is the terms used. For example, one carrier might call one of its inflation protection feature as 5% Equal and the other refer to it as 5% Simple. These two are just the same in terms of the services they provide and their only difference is their name.

2. Comparing your daily benefit amount

Just remember that the change in premium of your daily benefit amount either in an increasing or decreasing manner will always be linear. For example, the cost of a $200 benefit amount is 50% higher than that of a $150 daily benefit amount.

3. Check if your benefit period or pool of money is just the same

4. Study carefully if the features offered are the same.

5. It also pays to check other details like if your nursing home or home health expenses will be covered in full or just half of it.

 

Reap More Benefits from Early Purchase of LTC Insurance

Long term care (LTC) is getting expensive every year that is why the experts on the field would constantly remind everybody to buy your LTC insurance policy early as it is the only product that will protect your finances, family, and your dignity. It wouldn’t be that costly only if CLASS Act was not cancelled but don’t fret because there are still other ways how to cut the cost.

Long term care insurance (LTCI) is not like any regular commodity which people can buy off the store’s shelf and use right away. This type of insurance product requires buyers to be young and healthy but it will benefit them later once they’re frail, injured or disabled.

LTCI policies offer what you can never get from your regular health insurance, which, only covers certain types of medical services such as vision checkup, dental treatment, doctor’s fees, physical examination, and other related ones. It will neither foot your nursing home bills nor pay the home health care agency which is responsible for providing you with a home health aide or homemaker services.

Ignoring the importance of having an LTCI policy will subject you to very high out-of-pocket costs should you wind up acquiring LTC in the future. It’s important to note that only individuals who are earning $150,000 or more annually can self-insure because the average annual cost of a nursing home ranges from $77,745 to $85,000.

You can say you won’t enter a nursing home so you don’t have to spend that much, but you can never be too certain about the outcome of your health, can you?

If you are not too confident that you can afford the continuously soaring cost of care, you can look into a tax qualified LTCI policy and spare yourself and your family from possible impoverishment.

Buy Your LTC Insurance Policy Early

Contrary to many misconceptions, you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for the premium of your LTCI coverage if you purchase your policy before the retirement age which is 65. As a matter of fact, if you buy your policy at the age of 50 or younger you can enjoy the privilege of paying less than a thousand dollars every year for your coverage.

This is especially true for those whose health is in tiptop condition. If you don’t manifest symptoms of any illness during your application for an LTCI policy, you can get 10% to 15% good health discount on your premium.

Meanwhile, those who buy their policies after retirement, or a few years before, have smaller chances of clinching premium discounts because when one gets to the age of 65 his health usually begins to deteriorate.

Aside from premium discounts, securing a policy at a younger age will give you reason to look forward to big tax deductions. Premiums that are paid for tax qualified LTCI policies are treated as medical expenses according to the Internal IRS Code Section 213(d), and since medical expenses can be deducted from one’s income tax return you can expect big deductibles every year.

Based on a national survey, less than 10 million people in the country have LTCI policies while the remaining 3.8 million have yet to figure out a plan. This information poses a threat to the government as it is only capable of providing limited LTC coverage via Medicaid.

Shop for long term care quote early and buy your LTC insurance policy early so you don’t rely on mediocre health care services in the future. Furthermore, planning your LTC efficiently will spare your family from possible financial losses which have befallen many families.

Long Term Care Insurance Need Not Be Expensive

No matter how important it is, long term care insurance is one product which most people would avoid because of its expensive price tag. What they do not see are the many different ways on how to save on long term care insurance because they are too busy cropping long term care (LTC) planning from their responsibilities.

By deliberately ignoring the need to plan for LTC, they risk losing everything which they’ve worked so hard to obtain. LTC costs will continue to rise in the years to come and, in fact, by 2030 people will have to pay for the unthinkable as the figures are expected to quadruple.

Imagine a home health aide charging $76 per hour or $608 daily to assist you during mealtimes, in bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, and in transferring from the room to any point of the house or vice versa. That’s not all as rates of community-based LTC facilities and nursing homes will shoot up, as well.

What is your take on paying $386,900 annually for a nursing home’s private room? Right now the rate is still $96,725 but when LTC costs start to increase fourfold, this five-digit number will just be a faint memory and we all have to deal with six-digit rates.

Twenty years down the road, one’s retirement money worth $500,000 will not take him very far in terms of LTC. He may be able to afford the first year in a nursing home but after that, he’ll inevitably turn to Medicaid because he will run short of funds.

Unfortunately, Medicaid does not take in anyone who is not so poor and cannot afford to buy his own food other basic necessities. If you want a room in this health insurance program you have to spend down your assets until it meets Medicaid’s asset limit requirement.

Learning How to Save on Long Term Care Insurance

Medicaid us not worth considering at the moment unless you are going to purchase a Partnership qualified LTCI policy as this can protect your assets from being spent down should you require Medicaid in the future.

Start shopping for long term care quote in various LTCI carriers and preferably with a licensed agent in tow as he would be able to help you get the ideal coverage.

Give more attention to the inflation protection rider of your policy than the maximum benefit amount because if you instantly go for a high maximum daily benefit amount you’ll need to pay a high premium. While a compound inflation protection will increase your policy’s benefit amount over time. If you buy your policy at the age of 40, by the time you reach the age of 54 or 60 the total amount of your benefits will be twice its initial amount.

Opt for a longer elimination period such as 180 days especially if you are not at risk of nursing home care. By doing so, you will manage to stretch your benefits and benefit period.

Finally, if you really want to know how to save on long term care insurance just monitor LTC costs in your area because knowing how much you’ll need for care will make planning easier.

Even if CLASS act has been cancelled, there are still alternative ways on how you can cut the cost of your premiums. Everything I’ve said beforehand will surely get you the kind of long term care plans you want without having to worry about your budget. Consider these things and you’re off to a comfortable and debt-free future.