Long-Term Care Insurance

  •  Provides funds to hire assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, etc.
  • A good policy provides benefits anywhere -- in a nursing home, an assisted-living facility, a hospice facility, or even at home. 
  • Use a benefit time frame of at least 10 years or unlimited if available (i.e. Alzheimer's and other dementia). 
  • Unfortunately, evidence of good health is required for approval.  If you're reading this, wanting the coverage, and have Parkinson's, you're out of luck. 
  • However, having coverage on your caregiver is now doubly important. 

You do not need long-term care insurance if:

  • Either your assets are so minimal that you qualify for the Medicaid program
  • Or you're willing to spend down your assets until you qualify for the program.
  • Or if you are financially independent enough to cover the long-term care costs out of your investment earnings without depleting the principal much. 
  • Although long-term care costs differ widely from one area to another, in 2009, long-term care costs typically range from $90,000 a year to $120,000 a year. 
  • Make sure the company you choose meets two criteria: 
  • First, they have been awarded the highest financial rating by the A.M. Best Company of A+ or A++.  (This rating information is available online at www.ambest.com or at your local library.)  
  • You want an insurer solid enough to be around 30 years from now when you need the coverage. 
  • Second, they have a history of taking only modest rate increases on existing policies. 
  • With long-term care costs rising faster than the rate of inflation, companies that have a history of large rate increases could raise your premium over the years to the point where you have to drop the policy just about when you need to collect because you can no longer afford the premium.
  • The agent you are working with can provide this rate- change history for you.

 

Content for this section provided by Jack Hungelmann, who has had PD since 1996.

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