Long-term care (LTC) is a subject that people either don’t know anything about, or they get so uncomfortable about the idea of having a discussion around it that they ignore it. However, not having adequate plans for LTC can bankrupt even the most robust savings account, and studies show that three quarters of Americans have not planned for this instance.
When most people think of LTC they usually picture elderly people in nursing homes who are in need of various levels of assistance, and will need them until the day they die. While this is one example of what LTC provides for, it is certainly not the only instance of when you might need it.
LTC can also apply to many situations that may occur long before you are old, during years when your steady paycheck is essential to provide for the daily needs of you and your family. It allows you to stay at home and receive money from a LTC policy if you need to recover from an accident or critical illness. Many people have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to recover from a severely damaging car accident, or a cancer diagnosis that prevents them from fulfilling their typical duties at work. In many of these situations, the person injured not only misses out on his or her own paycheck, but someone else in the family becomes the injured person’s primary caregiver and gives up on their own income as a result.
The good news is that there are ways to help protect yourself and your family against the financial burdens that stem from a debilitating illness or injury. There are companies that offer LTC as a standalone product and new products are giving access to LTC thru a rider on insurance policies. Some policies offer to make payments directly to a caregiver and have recently included family members as an option.
As a broker, I like the combination of life insurance with a LTC rider as it addresses not only the issue of taking care of your loved ones if you pass away, but also providing money for your family if you become incapacitated. In some LTC policies, individuals and families are even given options to provide care at home instead of requiring them to seek care from an approved facility. This is a great benefit to families who want to provide or receive care from loved ones rather than strangers.
Do keep in mind that just because you apply for a LTC policy does not mean you will be approved for one. Several years ago, my wife applied for, and was granted, an affordable LTC policy. I also went thru the process but was turned down in underwriting. The best thing to do is apply for an LTC policy when you are younger and healthy to give yourself a greater chance of being approved, and therefore, securing a better financial future for you and your loved ones.
If you would like to learn more about LTC policies or need help applying for one, please contact me. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have and put together a plan that is right for you.
Footnote: Mr. Steven Gilbert is a licensed health insurance agent licensed in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Utah, Texas, Florida, and New Mexico.