Long Term Care Insurance: Do You Really Need To Buy It Now?

Jeff D. Hackmeier LUTCF, CSA

Jeff D. Hackmeier LUTCF, CSA

It’s a matter of a simple preposition.

Do you want your family members to care ABOUT you or FOR you?

As medical advances have improved our chances for longevity, the probability of requiring assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing and even skilled nursing care has increased as well.

Statistically 70% of adults over the age of 65 will require some level of service at some time in their life. But when you may need services as well as for how long is an unknown. And the unknown is a huge risk. No matter how large your savings or how many family members are available to care for you, the financial costs and emotional toll of the unknown can be overwhelming and potentially unaffordable.

Most people assume long term care (LTC) insurance is only for the 65+ population. In reality, LTC is one way of helping you pay for chronic care due to illness, disability or injury at any age. Generally LTC insurance pays for services not covered by your healthcare insurance provider or Medicare such as a private duty aide or nurse, assisted living, adult day care, long term nursing home or memory care centers.

Buying Long Term Care Insurance is not an all or nothing decision. Most policies offer flexibility to meet your needs and budget. You can select a daily or monthly benefit amount, choose a deductible, and build in inflation protections as well as optional riders. But the most common mistake is waiting too long. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that health issues may arise which increase costs and perhaps even disqualify you.

So when is the right time to purchase a policy? In a perfect world, there would be a magic number. Most people wait for the point at which they need care, in their 60s or even 70s. But life is unpredictable. For example, we have a client who purchased a policy at age 42 with an annual premium of $1800. Three years later she was severely injured in an automobile accident; so far her policy has paid 1.2 million in benefits over the past 12 years.

I am a firm believer in being proactive, encouraging clients to weigh the benefits versus the risks while thinking about where they plan to retire, in what setting they would prefer to receive care and what future medical expenses will they be able to pay out of pocket. Planning is crucial to selecting the best long term care policy.

And I do believe that sooner is better than later. And since we will all have to do it later, why not do it now. You could save money as well as the stress involved in last minute decisions.

Jeff D. Hackmeier & Associates is located at 12000 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 506 North Miami, Florida 33181. For more information contact 305-893-4488 or visit www.hackmeierinsurance.com.

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