Long-Term Care Now

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Long-term care insurance is complex, but the underlying dilemma is very basic: Will someone care for you when you’re old?

Many people become motivated to get serious about long-term care planning when discussing health issues only to let it fade from being a priority.

“I attempted to purchase a long-term care insurance policy in in my 50s, which is typical since I am a business owner in Ohio and was turned down. This was highly stressful for me since I don’t have any underlying health issues. No diabetes, heart condition, etc.

I didn’t have children but I had a spouse, and I have watched older relatives struggle to obtain care. I have seen my elderly 90 year-old uncle refuse to leave his home even though he should not be living alone at this stage in life. Had he planned for his long-term care this would not be an issue.

I worry about the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease someday, I’ve experienced one family member with the disease. I really wanted to insure against exorbitant expenses, my husband bought a policy with several years’ worth of long-term care benefits.

I am looking into this again in my 60s. It is getting increasingly difficult to find an insurer. I urge everyone to make this a priority at a younger age. I have found one carrier that will give me a 3-year policy because longer timeframes are so much more in terms of cost. I would prefer five or 10 years. My mother is in her 90s and is showing some signs of dementia albeit she has not been diagnosed. Her income is rather low and she never planned for her long-term care. Many of my friend’s parents are in the same situation.
The husband has encouraged me to look into coverage and to do so quickly to lock in a less expensive rate. Medicaid does not cover long term care. Most people don’t realize this type of care is not covered by Medicare.

“The idea of looking into it sooner rather than later was a big revelation.” I thought that it was already too late even though I am in good health. Because of that and that I was buying it in my early 60s, why should it be really expensive?”

I am actually right in line with insurance trends. Most people (76.4%) who purchase such policies are between the ages of 50 and 69, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), an industry group in Westlake Village, California.

It’s true that younger buyers generally obtain lower premiums. They are also at less risk of being ineligible for coverage because of health conditions like heart disease or stroke. About 22% of applicants in their 50s are unable to get coverage, compared to much higher decline rates for folks in their 60s (30%) and 70s (44%), according to AALTCI.

We all need to plan for our long-term care. If you or someone you love is in this situation plan for it now, don’t delay.

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