Long-Term Care Insurance

First Midwest Financial Network* offers access to insurance products for every stage of life and all financial circumstances, including long-term care insurance (LTCI). LTCI is an array of medical and support services for people with degenerative conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s), prolonged illness (e.g., cancer), a cognitive disorder (e.g., Alzheimer’s), or who are unable to perform two to three activities of daily living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring). This assistance can be provided through a nursing home, home healthcare, an assisted living facility, or adult day care.

Your First Midwest Financial Consultant can help you find the right LTCI coverage to meet your needs. Important questions to consider regarding long-term care include:

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Who Might Want Long-Term Care Insurance?

Individuals age 50-70 who are relatively healthy and have assets worth protecting might want to consider LTCI. Also, individuals who have a family history of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, and even longevity might want to discuss this form of insurance with a Financial Consultant.

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Why Should I Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

People are living longer. Americans age 80+ are the fastest growing segment of our population, and those 65 and older have a 40 percent chance of entering a nursing home.1 Medicare is not long-term care. It provides care for up to 100 days and only if the care is needed following a hospital stay. It usually does not cover home healthcare. Medicaid is available only after full spend down and does not allow a choice of facilities. Medicaid is, in essence, welfare, and the Medicaid facilities may not be where you would want your parent to stay.

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What Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?

The average cost for one year in a nursing home is approximately $60,000. With the average nursing home stay at two and a half years, this stay would cost around $150,000.2 The average policy premium for a 60-year-old applying for $150/day, five years of coverage, 90-day elimination period, and compound inflation would be $2,050. If that same individual owned that policy for 15 years before needing benefits, it would take just 100 days of care to recoup his or her premiums and break even.

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What Should I Look for in a Long-Term Care Policy?

Financial strength – Most benefits are not needed from a policy for 10 to 20 years after issue, so you need a carrier that has the financial strength to be around in 20 years. Find out how long they have been in the LTCI business, what their ratings are, who they are endorsed by, and whether they have ever had a premium increase.

Adequate daily benefit – Investigate the cost of care in your area or the area where you plan to retire to determine whether the policy's daily benefit will provide adequate coverage.

Inflation protection – Cost of care has been rising at an average rate of 5 to 6 percent a year.3 Make sure the benefit you buy will be sufficient when it is needed in 10 to 20 years by buying inflation protection. Suggestion: Try using compound inflation up to age 68, simple inflation from 69–74, and no inflation from 75+.

Comprehensive coverage – Make sure the policy provides coverage in all the settings in which you are interested (home care, adult day care, etc.). Also be sure that the benefit period is adequate to cover the average stay in a nursing home of two and a half years.

Stable premiums – LTC carriers have the right to raise premiums. The policies are guaranteed renewable, which prevents a carrier from singling out individuals for rate increases, but they may raise premiums for a class of policyholders. Be careful of carriers that are priced substantially below the competition. Find out if the proposed carrier has ever increased in-force premiums.

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