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The most common LTC promise made by an adult child to an aging parent is "I'll never put you in a nursing home." But too few people who make that promise ever ask themselves the key "LTC question": how will I keep that promise?
Suppose, a hurricane is approaching and you still have time to buy flood insurance. You decide it is too much money or maybe you could wait because it may not happen after all. Would this be a prudent decision?
And yet, there is an approaching storm we all should face. It is the devastating disaster of long term care expenses that can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars and easily wipe out a family's lifetime of savings. It will hit about one out of every two Americans and yet as this storm approaches few people plan for it. They think it will never hit them or they think somehow the government will bail them out. But, the government is drowning in debt and can't even afford to pay for those already in the water of Medicaid dependency.
A few thousand dollars a year in premiums for your own insurance protection is a small price to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of protection. Help me out. Why wouldn't you insure?
I agree with schaferitc. As one who is trying to navigate medicaid with my 93 year old mother-in-law I know the system is not user friendly. I am 66 and do not have assets much over $300,000. Long term insurance is too expensive at this point and I know my assets will not last long if I need care. I'm sure I am typical of a lot of people. The government won't be able to take care of all of us. We need a dignified way to die.
Why in the world would I buy some long term care that may not happen over twenty years from now? It is like buying car insurance for a car that I may never buy. Most people cannot even pay their debts these days. Just how are those 60/s baby boomers pay for that too? Forget it, that is what I say. And most people do not and never will have $300,000.00 dollars in their lives. Most people retire with $100,000.00 and that is it. For blue collar workers, they retire with about $25000.00. And then they are now expected to pay for LTC?? Get real. Almost all of us are broke from this insurance and that insurance. And now to put another load on the cart that is broken down? How sad.
The Partnership policies are a scam also. It's supposed to be something the state implements, but the insurance companies promote it as one of a dizzying amount of options and fringe benefits. Just get a basic bare bones policy, you're better off.
In short, you don't just have to "research" LTC products -- which in itself is practically impossible. First, you should retain an elder-care attorney, preferably one who has a social-work/RN/medical elder-care expert as a consultant or on staff. Then you have to accurately predict whether you plan to end up 20 or 30 years from now incapacitated in a way the LTC policy covers or are likely to slip through one of the many loopholes. And, of course, as other commenters have pointed out, those in the working middle class have no money to do any of this. I believe the above is what Chris means by "complex." Like Medicare Part B, this is going to be a great profit center for insurance carriers and brokers, but a boondoggle for citizens.
Schaferltc, my father is one of those who bought LTC, in his early 60s, fearing he'd need it if he went downhill with a preexisting chronic condition. The price was NOT "a few thousand a year," because of course, the company doesn't want to insure "risky" people. By the time he found an elder-care lawyer who knew what he was doing, he'd poured tens of thousands of dollars into a policy with more loopholes than a crocheted afghan. The chances it would ever have paid a dime were nearly nil. The attorney said, "I wonder how that guy (the LTC salesman) sleeps at night." THAT's why people don't insure -- besides the fact they simply can't afford it. My father's 84 now and still living at home on his own, thank God. So much for those actuarial tables.
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