Lessons about Long Term Care InsurancePosted: May 23, 2011
Long Term Care insurance has taught me a few lessons in the recent past. Awhile back I wrote about my Mom and how she lives in an assisted living facility because she has Alzheimer’s. Having a loved one with an illness like that can be an emotional roller coaster for sure. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.
- Picking the length of the policy is very crucial since we never know how long an illness will last. My Mom has lived in her facility for seven years already and I only bought her Long Term Care policy for a three-year period. The purchase was based on statistics and statistically speaking a three-year policy should be fine for the average illness, but not necessarily for Alzheimer’s.
- Picking the daily rate is a pretty important factor too. When my Mom first moved into the facility the rate was $130 per day. Seven years later the rate is now $248 per day. What started as an annual amount of $47,450 is now at $90,520.
- When an insured person has a cognitive impairment, the policy benefits will begin when “severe cognitive impairment” occurs. What I consider severe and what the insurance company considered severe, well let’s just we had our differences. In my eyes watching this happen was indeed severe for my sisters and I from the very moment we realized there was a problem. From the insurance company standpoint everything falls into graphs and charts and you have to fit in the right box for benefits to begin.
IS IT EVEN WORTH THE TROUBLE?
Eventually the Long Term Care policy kicked in. I had to file the claim twice before they decided she was severe enough. While I was going through the claim process my sister wanted to know if it’s even worth it to buy one of these policies. I knew eventually it would pay off and I looked at how much we paid out vs how much the policy was worth and it clearly was worth it.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE HOW MUCH TO BUY?
You need to look at family history and be honest with yourself. Not only does my Mom have Alzheimer’s, one of her sisters had it too. That makes me a little nervous. I’m hoping it skips a generation (note-I don’t have children), but I’m trying to take really good care of myself so I can be as healthy as possible and know that I did my best to avoid as many dreaded diseases as possible.
IS IT EVER ENOUGH?
I bought a Long Term Care policy for myself and my husband at the end of last year. After I got the call about my Mom’s room rate going up, I increased my policy, but just for me, not my husband. If there is anything genetic about this disease I know my family members have had it and none of his family members have had the disease. I want to protect my husband from the financial strains of an illness like this.
What about you? Have you given any thought to buying Long Term Care? Call me if you would like to talk about it. Just talk, no pressure from me, ever!
P.S. If you are worried that you may have it go to the Alzheimer’s organization and look at the signs. You’re probably just fine.