Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Is Long-Term Care Awareness Month

November Is Long-Term Care Awareness Month


Long-term care insurance (LTCI) may not be a priority for everyone, but it should be. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding LTCI, including high-cost, the lack of need for it and coverage by existing health insurance. But in fact, long-term care is typically not covered by a health insurance or disability plan, and government programs such as Medicaid only cover a certain low-income group.

So where does that leave the middle class? It leaves them with a very real need to close the “what if” gap.

Long-term care insurance is considered a key piece of a person’s overall financial plan. Car insurance is purchased to protect a driver in the event of an accident; life insurance is purchased to assist family members in case of premature death; health insurance is purchased in case of an illness; homeowners insurance is purchased in case of required home diasters; and a person’s retirement plan is funded to ensure a nest egg in the future. The reason: Most people spend a considerable amount of time planning, protecting and investing for the future, but it could all be for naught if one piece of the puzzle is missing. A great financial plan is like a puzzle—it’s rendered useless without all the pieces.

Most consumers initially think that long-term care insurance is too expensive and unattainable, but it can be affordable. Also, many people wait to purchase long-term care insurance. But the cost is primarily determined based on a person’s age and health, so locking in rates at a younger age could be more beneficial.