What Is Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) and Why Do I Need It?

Many financial planners agree today that the high cost of long term care is the most serious risk to the security of senior Americans. Long term care is defined as sub-acute care that is required because an individual has a prolonged illness or injury and needs help from others in order to live. One may need assistance in order to perform two or more activities of daily living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting or transferring), and/or one may need supervision due to cognitive impairment.

We are living almost twice as long as our ancestors did only 100 years ago. But with this blessing comes the drawback that the longer we live, the more likely that we will need long-term care before we die. This can cost a lot of money. Contact us today to discuss your best options

How do I choose an insurance company and an agent?

When selecting your insurance company and an agent, be sure to ask:

  1. Is the insurance company highly rated and stable, so that it will be around many years from now to pay a claim?
  2. Does the insurance company have a good track record of paying claims?
  3. Does the insurance company have competitive rates, give good value, and have a strong presence in the long term care insurance industry?
  4. Is the agent trustworthy and a specialist in long-term care insurance?
  5. Is the agent part of a larger organization that is available to assist you in time of need?
  6. Can the agent offer many plans from top companies and not merely represent one company?

Contact us today to discuss your best options

When should I consider buying LTCI?

It’s never too soon: a catastrophic disability can occur at any age. The younger you are when you purchase a policy, the sooner you’ll lock in a low rate. LTCI premiums escalate exponentially with age.

What do I need to qualify for long term care insurance?

You need to be able to: afford the premium, pass medical underwriting and be under the cutoff age for the insurance company.

How much does long term care cost?

It varies by state. View interactive map of costs.

What services are covered by long term care insurance?

Today’s policies are extremely flexible. You can select among a myriad of services, including: nursing facility care, assisted living care, adult day care, home health care, cash payments to family and friends providing care, group home care. Talk to your agent today to create a policy that fits you best.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
To set an accurate death benefit, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much of the family income do I provide?
  • If I were to die, how would my survivors, especially my children, get by?
  • Does anyone else depend on me financially, such as a parent, grandparent, brother or sister?
  • Do I have children for whom I would like to set aside money to finish their education in the event of my death?
  • How will my family pay final expenses and repay debts after my death?
  • Do I have family members or organizations to whom I would like to leave money?
  • Will there be estate taxes to pay after my death?
  • How will inflation affect future needs?

Contact us today to discuss your options.

Who can take out a policy on my life?

Only someone who has an “insurable interest” can purchase an insurance policy on your life, for example members of your immediate family. Contact us today to discuss your options.

Must my beneficiary have an insurable interest?

No. As owner of the policy, you can name anyone as beneficiary. Contact us today to discuss your options.

What happens to the cash value in my policy when I die?

When you die, the insurance company will pay the death benefit. No matter how much cash value you may have had in the policy the moment before you died, your beneficiaries can collect no more than the stated death benefit. Contact us today to discuss your options.

What are the differences between term, universal and whole life insurance?

Term life insurance: You decide how long the term should be- anywhere between 1 and 30 years. Visit our Life Insurance page to learn more or contact us to discuss your options.

Universal Life Insurance: This premium life insurance policy flexible is the most flexible, and can be structured to meet retirement, health and other needs.

Whole life insurance: This policy provides a guaranteed death benefit, cash value and premium. Visit our Life Insurance page to learn more or contact us to discuss your options.

How do annuities work?

If you make investments over a long period of time, you’ll see substantial growth. Keep in mind that annuities are tax-deferred; since you won’t pay taxes until you draw on the account. This untaxed growth helps leverage the compound interest. Common annuities for this purpose are individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) and tax sheltered annuities (TSA’s). Now that many pension plan benefits are underfunded, it’s a good idea to create future funds. Annuities are an essential part of retirement planning. You won’t be able to maintain your lifestyle on Social Security alone.

Are annuities tax free?

No, but they’re tax-deferred. You won’t pay taxes on the growth within the annuity until you draw on the account. The amount of tax you’ll pay depends on whether your annuity is qualified or non-qualified. However, special tax regulations have created very favorable tax tables wherein the tax liability phases in over a long period of time.

What’s the difference between qualified and non-qualified annuities?

Non-qualified annuities are made with after-tax dollars whereas qualified annuities make investments with dollars that have not been taxed. This difference impacts how much you’ll be taxed when you start to draw funds (the annuitization phase.) With non-qualified annuities, you’re taxed only on the increase in the annuity’s value. With qualified annuities, you’ll be taxed on the entire distribution. Contact us today to learn which option will work best for your situation.

What are the phases of an annuity?

An annuity passes through two distinct phases during its existence: the accumulation phase and the annuitization phase. The accumulation phase is that period of time from the purchase of the annuity until the annuity holder decides to begin receiving benefit payments. The annuitization phase is the period of benefit payments. This phase begins when the annuity holder requests payments.

The exception is an immediate annuity which starts to pay out immediately and therefore has no accumulation phase. Contact us to discuss your full range of options.

Who is eligible for Medicare?

Medicare is government health insurance for people age 65 or older or people under age 65 with certain disabilities.

Why do you offer so many plans?

It’s standardized. In fact, each standardized Medicare Supplement policy must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it.

What’s the difference between all the plans?

There’s a range of benefits covered among the 10 plans, identified by letters A through N. Plan A offers the least comprehensive benefits, and Plan N offers the most comprehensive benefits.

You must have Medicare Parts A and B first (see below). Part D, prescription drugs, is bought as a separate plan or as and add-on feature.

Parts A-D cover the following:

  • Part A: Hospital insurance for inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and limited hospice and home health care.
  • Part B: Doctor and other health care provider services, durable medical equipment, and preventative services.
  • Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans, covering Parts A, B and D with limitations.
  • Part D: Prescription Drugs.

You have a lot of choices. Contact us today. We’ll help you navigate the Medicare maze.

When should I purchase a Medicare Supplement Policy?

The best time to buy is the first months after you turn age 65 (the open enrollment period), as there is no medical underwriting. Otherwise, you are subject to medical underwriting, and an insurance company can decline coverage, charge more, or wait up to six months to cover a pre-existing condition.

There are so many plans. How do I make the right choice?

In buying a Medicare Supplement policy, you need to decide on which of the ten plans best suits your needs. We’ll discuss several factors in making your decision:

  • relative costs
  • your lifestyle
  • budget
  • health
  • long-term goals
  • preference for specific physicians or specialists

You have a lot of choices. Contact us today. We’ll help you navigate the Medicare maze.

How does a Medicare Supplement Plan work?

Typically, Medicare pays the Medicare-approved amount first, then your Medicare Supplement plan pays all or part of the balance. Here’s an example:

Total cost of the doctor’s service is $2,000.
Medicare-approved amount may be $1,800.
Medicare pays $1,440 (80%)
The Medicare Supplement plan pays $360 (the remaining 20%)
If your doctor accepts Medicare payment schedules, then you pay nothing.

Medicare Supplement policies can save a great deal of money. We have the expertise to guide you through the Medicare maze. Contact us today.