How to Choose the Best Long-term Care Insurance for You

Pretty much everyone has weighed in on the merits and risks of purchasing long-term care insurance. Consumer watchdog organizations, investment consultants, long-term care professionals, and insurance and government agencies have all shared their perspectives. There’s so much contradictory information. Consequently, it’s hard to know which is the best long-term care insurance, or if you should buy it at all.

What started as a valuable safety net for America’s aging population morphed into disappointment and accusations of fraud and incompetence in the 90s. Let’s take a look at where things went wrong, and what to do moving forward. Because let’s face it, unless you have the cash to self-fund your long-term care, upwards of half a million dollars, most people will need insurance for their care.

 

Twice the Price

“The Watchdog,” a column in Pennsylvania’s The Morning Call, reports on “scams, fraud, business complaints, and government incompetence.” Paul Muschick, the award-winning journalist who writes the column, asks local citizens to send him their concerns. He then investigates, and reports his findings in the newspaper. LTC insurance rate hikes have been brought to his attention many times. Seniors who purchased traditional long-term care insurance policies decades ago saw their premiums double in recent years.

 

A Premium Problem

At a hearing held in Harrisburg by the state’s insurance department, one of these concerned citizens was Richard Arnold. He testified that he and his wife have been “forced to substantially reduce the benefits in order for our premiums to be affordable.” Similarly, some customers have considered dropping their policies altogether. They would forfeit the money they’ve already paid, for fear that they could no longer afford to pay the premiums.

 

Mistakes Were Made

Insurance industry executives testified that the rate hikes were necessary because they miscalculated how long people would live. And they expected more customers to “drop their coverage before filing claims.” They also cited low returns on their investments, and the rising costs of long-term care services. They were not necessarily deliberately fraudulent. But, they certainly made decisions that didn’t take into account the new longevity Americans now enjoy.

 

We Get It

News headlines have chronicled the collapse of traditional long-term care insurance plans. These traditional plans have failed to keep pace with long-term care expenses. Worse, if you never needed long-term care, you lost your entire investment.

You should be concerned about purchasing traditional long-term care insurance policies. Serious problems include skyrocketing premiums, and a 90-day elimination period during which you are not entitled to receive benefits. A lack of coverage for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and a lack of in-home care options are problematic. The “use it or lose it” policy standards may be one of the biggest deterrents.

We do not recommend traditional LTC plans.

 

A New Tradition – the Best Long-term Care Insurance

We’ve scoured the industry for the best long-term care insurance and found two new options that work for most everyone. These long-term care policies offer a combination of benefits. They include inflation riders, first day cash benefits, memory care coverage, asset protection, and much more.

You’ll have access to affordable policies with premium features. You won’t have to consider reducing your benefits down the road like the Arnolds. Additionally, you won’t have to drop your coverage entirely because it becomes unaffordable. That’s a choice too many policyholders have had to make.

Let’s take a look at an overview of these two innovative plans.

 

Stay Flexible

Flex-Plan Advantage is an affordable long-term care insurance plan that includes a cash option. You can pay your friend or family caregivers, collect cash for respite care, and stay at home longer. This is the best long-term care insurance for those on a budget – in other words, most of us. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of Flex-Plan Advantage.

 

Pros:

  • Flex-Plan Advantage is affordable. Monthly premium payments can be tailored to fit most budgets.
  • This plan offers your choice of cash or reimbursement benefits.   
  • Cash benefits can be used to pay friends or family to care for you in your home and are available with no elimination period.
  • Cash benefits can also be used to provide respite care when you or your usual caregiver is unavailable.
  • You have the flexibility to switch from cash benefits to full reimbursement at any time.
  • Your benefits can be transferred from in-home care to assisted living to nursing home or hospice care.
  • Your policy includes strategies for protecting your assets including your income and your spouse’s income, money you plan on passing down to your children, and even your home.

Cons:

  • Inflation can still affect your premium payments. However, you can add an inflation rider to your policy to guard against the kind of increases seen with traditional long-term care insurance policies.

If Flex-Plan Advantage sounds like the best long-term care insurance for you, learn more here.

 

A Premier Plan

The Premier Single-Premium policy offers the same advantages of Flex-Plan Advantage with the exception of the monthly premium payment option. You can choose an indemnity or cash benefit. You don’t have to choose until it’s time to receive care. That way you can make the best decision of how you want to receive that care.

This hybrid long-term care insurance is the new solution for protecting your estate against rising long-term care expenses. It’s the best long-term care insurance for those with the assets to transfer over into a one-and-done policy premium. Here are some additional benefits of this LTCI option.

 

Pros:

  • The Premier Single-Premium option is a hybrid policy that acts as life insurance. If you never need long-term care, this is good news. The unused cash value of a hybrid policy transfers to your estate as a death benefit.
  • Your policy is guaranteed to never lose value. In fact, you can expect to see a 300-800% gain in asset value on day one.
  • Your premium dollars are liquid. You can withdraw the entire amount you paid in premiums at any time.
  • You won’t have to worry about premium increases. Your policy will be paid in full with an average one-time payment of $90,000.

Cons:

  • Many people don’t have the transferable assets and aren’t in a position to make a one-time payment of this size.

    Fortunately, there is a multi-pay option that allows policyholders to enjoy the benefits of the Premier Single-Premium policy. Policyholders make annual payments over a period of time.

If the Premier Single-Premium is the best long-term care insurance fit for you, learn more here.

 

It’s important to apply soon for the best possible rates, no matter which plan you choose. Ideally, you should purchase long-term care insurance when you are healthy and in your fifties. But, if you’re in your sixties, seventies, or even eighties, you can still qualify. You must be able to pass the initial health screening. Of course, the longer you wait, the costlier the coverage.

 Contact us today to begin the straightforward application process, and gain peace of mind for you and your family. 

Get to know Capital Retention, Inc. socially. We hang out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but you can also find us on Google+ and LinkedIn.

Comments