How To Lessen Up Attention Wanting To 3 Year Old Long Term Care Insurance – Is it Right For You?

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Long Term Care Insurance – Is it Right For You?

You can’t watch television for five minutes without realizing that the Baby Boom generation—the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964—are entering their senior years. Sixties music is now being used not to sell cars and jeans, but a variety of older products – from retirement investments to dietary supplements. For some boomers, “When I’m Sixty-Four” is not a love song; is an entry in Microsoft Outlook. The aging population has focused new attention on long-term care. Who will need it? What does it cost us? And how are people going to pay for it?

According to the American Association of Aging Homes and Services (AAHSA), a nonprofit organization that studies the care of the elderly, nearly 7 out of 10 adults who reach the age of 65 will need long-term care in a certain point in his life. Some of this care is given at home, but the majority is provided in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

In October 2007, the MetLife Mature Market Institute reported that the average cost of a private room in a nursing home reached $77,745 per year, and the average stay in a nursing home was 876 days, or 2.4 years. . This means that the cost of an average nursing home stay is $186,588. However, 25% of nursing home residents stay in a nursing home three years or more. Fully 12% stay more than five years. A five-year stay would cost $388,000 at today’s prices. In 2011, when the first baby boomers turn 65, costs will undoubtedly be higher than they are now.

People pay for long-term care in three ways: 1) out of their savings, 2) with insurance, or 3) through Medicaid, the government health plan for low-income people. Few people have $75,000 to $400,000 in savings, so most people pay with insurance or Medicaid.

To qualify for Medicaid, an individual must have low income and few assets. The family home is exempt from the Medicaid calculation, as long as the person who needs care or their spouse lives in the home. Even then, home equity can be counted by Medicaid if it exceeds $750,000. To control the explosion of Medicaid costs, Congress extended the “look back” period to account for assets transferred to friends and family from three years to five years before applying for Medicaid.

For people with substantial assets in retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, or savings accounts, the best way to pay for long-term care is through long-term care insurance. Of course, the person should buy long-term care insurance before he needs it. The sooner the individual signs up, the lower their premiums will be. For example, a 50-year-old who receives a $150-a-day for four years of coverage can expect to pay annual premiums of about $1,000. If the person waits until age 65, the cost will be about $2,200 a year . At 80, the cost is about $7,500 a year.

Not everyone is convinced that they need a private room in a nursing home; many think they would be fine in an assisted care facility, which costs less. According to the MetLife study, a year in an assisted living facility costs $35,628—about half the cost of a private nursing home room. As a result, the daily cost of a room in an assisted care facility is $97 a day, instead of $213 for a nursing home room. By cutting the daily rate in half, the insured is able to reduce long-term care insurance premiums.

Others reduce premiums by reducing the amount of time the policy covers. If the average stay is only 2.4 years, they reason, why get coverage for more than that? Only one in four people stay in a nursing home three years or more. Some people are willing to play the odds to reduce their premiums. The risk, of course, is that the insured will end up spending not only three or four years in the facility, but four, five, six years, or more. If a person has considerable assets, the lack of comprehensive insurance will put those assets at risk.

A smarter way to cut premiums is to increase the elimination period – the waiting period before benefits start. By extending the waiting period for a room at $150 a day for an extra 90 days, for example, the insured will have to pay an additional $13,500 in out-of-pocket expenses. This will decrease the premium amount substantially, giving the insured time to save the out of pocket amount. It also protects from the high cost of an ongoing stay. It is better to pay an upfront cost that is known than to accept an open agreement that could cost much more.

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