Comparing Short Term Care to Long Term Care Insurance.

Long-term-care

What is Long Term Care? Almost 70% of people turning 65 will need long term care at some point in their lives. Long term care is when we need help with two or more daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating or using the bathroom. (i)  Care can be provided in a nursing home, assisted care facility or at home.

Costs vary depending on whether the care is provided in our home, in an assisted living facility or nursing home.  (Here is a helpful link to look up the cost of care in your area.) You’ll see nursing home costs are about double that of home care.

Doesn’t Medicare Pay These Costs?  Don’t count on it. Part A covers skilled nursing care in a skilled nursing facility (not home care) under certain conditions for a limited time; and even then it’s usually related to a hospital stay and discharge.  (ii)  And, no, Medicare does not cover long term or custodial care. (iii)

So, How Would I Pay for This?

In the U.S., 10,000 people turn 65 daily. Most do not have the financial reserves or long term care insurance    protection against what could wipe out your lifetime of savings and accumulated assets.   Why not? Well,the three reasons why people defer obtaining a long term care policy are:

  1. The cost. Let’s face it, traditional long term care premiums can be pricey. Not as expensive as one year of care but beyond what many middle age household budgets can afford.  (Paying off mortgage, college education(s), retirement funds, etc.)
  2. Denial. “I am not part of the 70% that will need care.”  “My children will take care of me.” “I have good genes.”
  3. Complexity.   Underwriting for eligibility can involve extensive medical forms, physician statements, lab results and pharmacy screens to confirm eligibility.  (Download FREE Shopper’s Guide to Long Term Care Insurance target=”_blank” )

And So How Does Short Term Compare to Long Term Care Protection?

 Short Term Care

  • Benefits paid for up to one year
  • A 20 to 60 day waiting period
  • No Plan of Care Required
  • Simple Application
  • More Affordable
 Long Term Care

  • Benefits paid for up to ten years
  • A 90 to 365 waiting period
  • Yes, a Plan of Care Is Required
  • Extensive Application
  • More Expensive

Next Step

Call me at (518) 346-2115 and we can review the 10 Yes /No eligibility questions and create your customized premium quote.

Please visit and follow our Facebook Page. Daniel G. Alcorn, a licensed and independent agent, represents licensed insurance companies in Massachusetts and New York.  Dan may receive compensation for individual enrollments in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance , Medicare Prescription Drug or Long Term Care /Short Term Care plans.
Sources:

(i) http://longtermcare.gov/the-basics/what-is-long-term-care/

(ii) http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/skilled-nursing-facility-care.html

(iii) http://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/not-covered/item-and-services-not-covered-by-part-a-and-b.html

Family Caregivers Kit: 9 Free Publications

helpManage a loved one’s finances and health care with knowledge and confidence.

The Family Caregivers Kit is a collection of publications that help you understand your duties as an agent under a power of attorney, keep track of medications, protect your loved ones from scams, and more.

 

PUBLICATIONS FEATURED IN THE FREE FAMILY CAREGIVERS KIT

( Download Adobe Reader to view these publications.)
  1. Consumer Action Handbook  Family Caregivers Kit -1
  2. Health Scams Family Caregivers Kit -2
  3. Money Smart for Older Adults: Financial Exploitation  Family Caregivers Kit -3
  4. Managing Someone Else’s Money: Fiduciary   Family Caregivers Kit -4
  5. Managing Someone Else’s Money: Court Appointed Guardians Family Caregivers Kit -5
  6. Managing Someone Else’s Money: Representative / VA Fiduciary Family Caregivers Kit -6
  7. Managing Someone Else’s Money: Trustees / Revocable Living Trust Family Caregivers Kit -7
  8. My Medicines  Family Caregivers Kit -8
  9. Use Medicines Wisely  Family Caregivers Kit -9

 As an independent licensed Life, Accident and Health Insurance professional, I represent several insurance companies authorized to conduct business in New York.  For more information about how affordable insurance can protect your assets and provide you greater control over your financial planning, please contact me at (518) 346-2115 for a confidential and complimentary consultation.

"This service is provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 
Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health and the 
Federal Citizen Information Center at the General Services Administration."

The value of voluntary long-term care insurance.

Recently I was involved on a case where adult children, as part of their financial planning, explored the purchase of long term care protection on their parents. (Of course, the parents had to consent, and qualify medically.)

The rationale was this:  the adult children and spouses understand that 40% of women, and 37% of men, at some point will assist an individual requiring long term care.  (And 70% of people 65 or older can expect to use some form of long term care. Source)

Statistics also that report nearly 2/3 of those caregivers end up making work accommodations to provide care for a family member – usually a parent or in-law that most often is still living at home.

As the parents do not have long term care insurance, the adult children are exploring purchasing the policies as a way to extend their parents’ limited resources and protect their own respective incomes in the event long term care become necessary.   Yes, this seems like a generous gift to their parents but this is also smart balance sheet planning on their part.

(The adult children know that AARP has found data showing that a 50-year-old or older family caregiver who leaves the workforce to care for a parent forgoes, on average, $304,000 in lost salary and benefits over their lifetime. These estimates range from $283,716 for men to $324,044 for women.)

Here is a helpful link to a page where you confirm today’s cost of care  and what it may cost in the future.

As today there are more options available for long-term care protection solutions, let’s talk.

Dan

New York State residents: for a complimentary consultation and review of available options, please call me at (518) 346-2115 or schedule a telephone appointment at a time most convenient for you.

caregivers-profile

Source:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/what-working-a-part-time-job-for-five-years-for-free-looks-like/

NY State EPIC Drug Plan for Seniors

drug-costsEPIC, (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) is a New York State program for seniors administered by the Department of Health. It helps eligible seniors supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs.  Eligibility requirements are:

  • Resident of New York State
  • Age 65 or older
  • Income up to $75,000 (single) or $100,000 if married.

EPIC offers two plans, based on your income:

  • Fee Plan for members with income up to $20,000 if single or $26,000 if married.
  • Deductible Plan members with incomes ranging from $20,001 to $75,000 (single) or $26,001 to 100,000 (married.)   Download EPIC Application Here

EPIC members are required to be enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage health plan which includes Part D. Enrolling in EPIC will give a member a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to join a Medicare Part D drug plan. Medicare Part D provides primary drug coverage for EPIC members. After a Part D deductible is met, if applicable, EPIC provides secondary coverage for approved Part D and EPIC covered drugs. EPIC also covers approved Part D-excluded drugs such as prescription vitamins as well as cough and cold preparations after enrolling in a Part D drug plan.

help

You or someone you know may now be eligible for EPIC help.  Download the EPIC Application and call me at (518) 346-2115 for assistance with submitting your request.

 

Using Annuities in Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning

Annuities, long-term care insurance or a hybrid life insurance / LTC rider are better options than trying to go-it-alone.

Guide to long term care blog

Medicaid applicants with too much money or assets are denied coverage for long-term care and have to pay their own nursing home bills. For many, their savings would be depleted within months, leaving the Medicaid applicant’s spouse destitute. Annuities can magically wipe away these excess resources that are preventing Medicaid eligibility and replace them with a monthly check, payable to the applicant’s spouse (referred to as the “community spouse”).

Sound too good to be true? It’s not, and when done properly, this technique can preserve a large portion of a couple’s resources to provide for the community spouse, who may live for many years, and possibly, the couple’s heirs.

Read complete article here: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/using-annuities-medicaid-long-term-care-planning.htm

For annuity quotes: http://guidetolongtermcare.com/forms/quote.html 
(some annuities offer LTC benefits that pay out more than the annuity value)

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Minimum payment and credit scores

Once upon a time, a person’s credit rating was based on whether or not he or she paid their monthly obligations “as agreed.”  The loan officer would call the local credit bureau office , yes by telephone, and inquire as to how Mr. or Mrs. Applicant was handling their credit.  The credit bureau clerk would reply with updates provided by local and regional lenders with numerical ratings such as “Sears reports R1 and  Ford Motor Credit I1 ” That was simple. As time passed, the Fair Isaac Company (FICO) introduced a formula that provided a numerical score of whether the applicant would honor their future credit obligations.   At the time this was controversial as individuals who had never missed a payment were being declined for having a lower than average score. The scoring was based on a number of other factors including many recent inquires, a high percentage  drawdown of approved credit lines and a heavy revolving debt compared to installment and residential mortgage.

Prepare for yet another twist. new Soon, your credit report will include 24 months of detail on the minimum payment required for each account, and this is the new part,  the amount actually paid on each account.  As a result, individuals who pay their monthly balance in full will be rated higher.  Those who pay only the minimum required payment will not be rated as high as those who pay a greater amount. Sometimes it makes sense to use a retailer’s revolving credit feature.  For example, a retailer may offer a six month interest free financing plan.  (Pay the purchase price in full within six months interest free! )  It’s unlikely such a single retailer account will, by itself, affect your credit score, be aware that the new formula rewards pay-in-full over minimum-payment consumers  

red_arrow What to do?

  1. Always make your monthly payments on or before the due date.
  2. Where possible pay revolving account balances in full.
  3. If you cannot or choose not to pay the revolving accounts in full, make payment amounts greater than the minimum amount required.

smart_tip And remember, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.   Order your three credit reports online through Annual Credit Report. Carefully review each reporting to be sure what is being reported actually belongs to you and the amounts are accurate.  If you notice an error appearing on each of the three reports, you must dispute that error separately with each consumer reporting company, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each will present your dispute to the creditor and will respond to your complaint. If the creditor, however, disagrees with your dispute you may need to file the complaint with the federal Consumer Protection Financial Bureau.

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/columnists/pamela-yip/20140427-yip-new-red-flag-on-risky-credit-card-users.ece

Sky Trails

Sky Trails

This photo was taken on Sunday, May 11, 2014 on Union Street in Schenectady, New York