Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Long Term Care Planning, Already?

This week, I attended two of three classes provided by a financial planner who specializes in retirement and estate planning. I've learned A LOT!!! And "A LOT" doesn't do justice to the wealth of information I've gained. In this post, I'll share a few of my favorite bits of information from the long term care insurance presentation:
  • Long term care (LTC) insurance is purchased to cover expenses related to care in home, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living and nursing homes.
  • The majority of long term care is paid for from Medicaid,  followed by out of pocket expenses from the customer and/or their family.
  • Medicare and Medigap (health care for people age 65+ (and younger, in some cases, ex. disabled persons)) does NOT cover long-term care expenses.
  • Medicaid (health insurance for the impoverished) does cover LTC expenses. For a single person (1-person household) aged 65+ years (someone who is considered to be "aged"), to be eligible in my state of residence, you cannot have assets valued at more than $2,500 and a monthly income no greater than $350.
  • Policies can be purchased based on the amount of money a person's care would be on a daily basis and for how many years such care would. Additional features -such as inflation protection, age and health at time of purchase, individual and shared plans, restoration of benefits- impact the cost of a policy.
  • The Federal government will enact the CLASS Act (beginning late 2012 or early 2013) to help Americans prepare for the expense of long term care. Here's a summary of the the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act from AARP.
  • Some states have "partnership programs" that incentivize the purchase of long term care policies.
I'm so fired up about this topic! I'm interested in learning more about this product so I can discuss it with my parents as they prepare for full retirement.

Have you heard about long-term care insurance? 
Have you talked about it with your parents/loved ones?
Do you know someone who has purchased a LTC policy? 
What was the experience like?

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