Decisions about Health Care Insurance begin at the kitchen table

The most common misunderstanding about advance care health planning may be that it requires consulting with an attorney and the creation of numerous complex legal documents. In reality, advance planning starts at the kitchen table, with a thoughtful conversation with your spouse and/or family members.

Focus on advance care planning, talking about how you want your health care needs handled, financially as well as physically, and from there, move on to a discussion about a living will, a will and burial decisions. Then you are ready to speak with a Health Care Insurance advisor to set up a health care plan that meets your needs, and an attorney to take care of your will.

Yes, some of the topics may be uncomfortable to talk about. Studies show most people would rather indefinitely postpone these conversations, rather than have them. But all it takes is one cautionary tale from someone like me, a Health Care Insurance advisor, to realize delaying is not the answer.

Claire and Rich, both in their 50s, sat down with me and talked for about an hour and a half about Long-Term (LTC) and Short-Term (STC) Health Care policies. They agreed that having both a LTC and STC policy could help them, but decided to take a few days to think through some of the plans I showed them.

When I checked back with them, Claire had decided to postpone their decision for a couple of months, until after the holidays.

Unfortunately, Rich had a stroke about a month later, and was unable to buy the Short-Term Care policy that would have helped Claire pay for his home health care and nursing home care needs while he was recovering. Like many stroke victims, Rich lived, but will now be ineligible for Long-Term and Short-Term Care policies because of his pre-existing condition.

I was still able to help Claire, but felt very badly not to have been able to help Rich as well.

 Unfortunately, most of us don’t want to think about end of life and critical care health needs – often waiting too long – until after something devastating happens.

This is the reason I’m so passionate about health care insurance! I want to make sure you don’t get caught up in a crisis situation like Claire and Rich did. Both LTC and STC health insurance needs to be decided upon WHILE YOU ARE HEALTHY.

Together, let’s make your future health care decisions a priority, beginning at your kitchen table.

~ Elise

Aging U.S. population a big issue

Aging continues to be an issue and have far reaching impact, on the economy, on businesses, on families, and on individuals.

Are you familiar with these statistics?

  • The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that the dependency ratio, or the number of people 65 and older to every 100 people of traditional working ages, is projected to climb rapidly from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030.

This time period coincides with the time when baby boomers are moving into the 65 and older age category.

  • After 2030, however, the ratio of the aging population to the working-age population (ages 20 to 64) will rise more slowly, to 37 in 2050.

The higher this old-age dependency ratio, the greater the potential burden on taxpayers. Another good reason to explore Long-Term Care Insurance.

With this generation of young adults waiting still longer to have and raise their children, they may not be able to – or have the time and/or means to – care for you.

Long-Term and Short-Term Care Insurance places the means for your care in your hands, so neither you nor your children need to worry about it. Let’s talk about your family situation and what Long-Term and Short-Term Health Insurance can do for you.        ~ Elise

Critical Care Insurance and how it benefits you

People are living much longer lives even after suffering a heart attack, cancer, heart bypass surgery, suffering a stroke, or many other maladies that used to guarantee fatality. No more, thanks to early earlier detection, better prevention and medical advances in serious healthcare treatments.

Unfortunately for many of us, surviving such a catastrophic illness can bring with it serious financial hardships – especially if that illness leads to a prolonged, expensive stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility (or both) while recuperating.

This is where Critical Care Insurance can help. Relatively new to the health care insurance scene, Critical Care Insurance provides monthly cash benefits for at home care, assisted living and nursing home care. The benefits provided progress with the expenses and duration of each level of care.

Here’s how it works. Let’s use Pat as an example:

Before Pat became ill, she purchased a Critical Care Policy with a monthly base benefit of $2,000 with a maximum benefit period of 18 months. Some years later, Pat suffered a stroke. Like many other stroke patients, she required lengthy follow up care.

Here’s how her Critical Care Coverage helped pay Pat’s bills:

  • 3 months in nursing home = $12,000
  • 8 months in assisted living = $24,000
  • 3 months in home care = $6,000

Total Critical Care paid to Pat over the course of 14 months of recovery in various facilities = $42,000.

What’s even better? Twelve months after Pat fully recovered from her stroke, all of her Critical Care Benefits were fully restored. So if Pat suffers from another catastrophic health event, she will be covered again.

If not for her Critical Care policy, that $42 thousand would have had to come from Pat’s retirement savings, the equity in her home –or even from her children. That’s something none of us wants to consider.

As an extended care advisor, I can help you figure out a plan of health insurance that fits you in every way possible. Together, we can choose a plan, a benefit period and a monthly base benefit amount that is right for you. Whether you are 18 or 84, I want to be sure your future health doesn’t cause you a moment’s stress or anxiety.

~ Elise

Short-Term or Long-Term Care insurance – what’s the dif?

Insurance is for filling in gaps. In the case of Long-Term Care insurance, it’s for helping you pay costs NOT covered by:

  • health insurance at your job
  • health insurance you purchase privately
  • hospital insurance policies you buy
  • Medicare

The “long term” in Long-Term Care means just that, long. Extended. Chronic.  In fact, the Free Dictionary defines long-term care as “the provision of medical, social, and personal care services…to persons with chronic physical or mental disorders.”

What classifies your condition as “chronic” and allows you to claim benefits from an Indiana Long-Term Care insurance policy?  You must meet one of these two criteria, as certified by a physician:

  1. For a period of at least 90 days you have been unable to perform at least two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  2. You are suffering from severe cognitive impairment.

In the real world, of course, illnesses are often critical rather than chronic. And even though traditional health insurance does cover cancer, heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, and even a major organ transplant, rarely are all costs covered. While bills are coming in fast and furious and claims are taking forever to be approved, your illness can cause financial devastation.

That’s when Short-Term Care Insurance is there to deliver a cash benefit when you need it most, paying you benefits over and above any other medical insurance or disability insurance.

Short-Term and Long-Term Care insurance – each has its gap-filling protective function to perform exactly when needed.  But that’s the thing – insurance must be purchased BEFORE it is needed.  Knowing you’re protected allows you to focus on recovery!

For more information on health insurance options, click HERE.

~ Elise

New poll shows most in denial about Long-Term Care

It’s a fact: Americans don’t want to think about Long-Term Care.

According to an AARP poll by the Public Policy Institute, Americans fail to understand that employer, private health insurance and Medicare do not cover the extraordinarily high costs of Long-Term Care.

I mean, how much clearer can things get? We’re talking about nursing homes, hospice care, assisted living, home health care … almost none of this is covered and almost all of us will need some of it during our lifetimes.

So what’s going on here? Aren’t people listening?  Apparently not, the Public Policy Institute poll found.  When people 40 and older were asked how they were preparing for the reality of aging, two thirds said they’d done “little to no” planning for long-term care. Three in ten admitted they would “rather not think about getting older” at all. Some were hoping their families will step in and care for them.

Here’s the reality: You may be lucky enough to be part of a very close-knit family. That doesn’t mean they — or you — understand the full extent of what that care-giving will entail.

No surprise: Those who had already experienced providing care to an older family member – as I have – when questioned in the poll, were less apt to say they would rely on their families.  Like me, they’d seen how difficult it can be to provide long-term care services without professional help.

Long-Term Care is no Do-It-Yourself proposition. Making sure you have the financial power to ensure that you and your family members can have the right kind of help at the right time is what Long-Term Care insurance planning is all about.

Want to know more? Click HERE for related articles about Long-Term Care Insurance.

~ Elise

 

What IS Long-Term Care insurance?

Long Term Care insurance may seem complex, but in fact – it’s based on a very simple concept – being prepared.

Long-Term Care insurance (LTC) is a protection product sold in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. Simply put, LTC covers health costs that employer health insurance, private health insurance, hospital insurance and health costs that Medicare does not cover. What are these health costs addressed only by LTC insurance?

  • Home healthcare
  • Assisted living
  • Adult daycare
  • Respite care
  • Nursing home care
  • Hospice care

LTC insurance has been around for quite awhile. Why is it being talked about so much right now?

  • People are living longer lives
  • Families are living farther apart
  • Health care costs are dramatically rising

Is Long Term Care primarily for the elderly? The facts tell a different story. 40% of those receiving long-term care today are between the ages of 18 and 64. But LTC is also for those over the age of 65. In fact, studies show that 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some form of long-term care services during their lifetimes.

But the thing about Long Term Care insurance is that it must be purchased BEFORE  it is needed. That’s because, once you have a condition that requires long-term care, you will no longer qualify for coverage.

It’s confusing, in a way, to plan ahead. How do you know what you’ll need? That’s where I come into the picture.  With 25 years of experience, I’m uniquely positioned to help you figure that out.

~ Elise

 

Long-Term Care insurance = being prepared for the future

Many of us think that if we have life insurance, Living Will, employer health insurance or private health, or Medicare, we’re all set. But unfortunately, that’s just not the case. I’ve seen what unexpected health crises can do when there hasn’t been forethought and planning, and it’s not pretty. In this regard, my insurance CLTC certification and training are important, but just as important is my 25 years of experience.

Because I know what CAN happen, I know how to protect you from as many potential problems as possible. As the co-founder of Your LTC Resource, my job is to assure that singles, couples and families are protected in as many ways as possible when it comes to their future healthcare needs.

That phrase “as many ways as possible” is incredibly important. We can’t know what our future mental or physical health will be. That’s why we need to have Long-Term Care insurance that is flexible as well as responsible.

Being flexible means both Long-Term and Short-Term Care insurance. It means taking a good look at your present health insurance policies, and finding the gaps. The more planning we do, the better prepared you’ll be for every health and financial contingency.

When you do our Long-Term Care planning homework, the payoff in your future is well worth the time.

~ Elise

Why a blog about Long-Term Care?

As Long-Term Care Planning Specialists for the past 25 years, Ed and I completely appreciate how confusing it can be to plan for your future. First of all, the possibilities are infinite. You want what’s best for you, your spouse, and your family, health-wise and financially. But what will the future look like?

You’ve probably taken care of your will and life insurance needs. And now you may be taking a look at health insurance programs, Medicare, or critical care insurance programs. What is covered and what isn’t? What is this Indiana Partnership Plan, and what does it offer? What if your spouse gets seriously ill? Is Long-Term Care covered through your Indiana health care insurance? How is long-term care different from short-term care? Do you need both?

It’s pretty confusing at first glance. How do you find the time to navigate through the maze of coverages, questions and scenarios?

That’s where Your LTC Resource, Inc. can help. Ed and I have spent decades learning how to help people just like you plot a course through these challenges. We know the right questions to ask. We know how to leverage the right coverages to protect you against any healthcare or needs possibility. And, because we’ve been through real-life experiences with both our parents, we also know what is needed to make sure there are no gaps in your coverage.

This new blog will create a helpful dialog, get your questions answered, and provide you with the type of information and examples you need to make smart decisions for your future.

We invite you to begin the conversation right here. Ask us a question and we’ll get right back to you with information. Of course, if you’d prefer talking to one of us in person – that’s fine, too. Contact us HERE or leave us a text with your contact information, and we’ll get in touch.

~ Elise