Long Term Care Insurance


    Providing for long term care in nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities is perhaps the greatest uninsured risk in America today. If you had a choice to have or not have medical insurance, would you think twice? We all know that one serious illness could wipe out a life's savings if we didn't have that medical insurance. But many people don't realize that long term care is not covered by traditional medical plans or HMOs, nor by Medicare. A disabling stroke or other medical problem, the onset of Alzheimer's disease, or a host of other reasons can require professional custodial care if not skilled nursing care. Without LTC insurance, the cost for such care comes from only one place -- personal assets. And at $40,000 to $80,000 per year, it doesn't take long to leave a spouse or loved one in poverty. Recent legislation has made it a felony to transfer assets to other family members in order to impoverish an individual and make them eligible for Medicaid or "welfare" benefits. Many factors have combined to make LTC insurance as important as health insurance in today's society.

    If your company is not prepared to provide this coverage to emloyees as a company paid benefit, then why not consider offering it to them as a voluntary one? If you do, you will give them the advantage of group rates and much more liberal underwriting. Many will be able to obtain it through a company offered voluntary plan who would not be eligible for it on an individually underwritten basis.

    Typically, plans are availble to cover a stated maximum expense per year for a specific number of years or for a lifetime. There are various deductibles and waiting periods. Some plans cover only skilled nursing care, some include custodial care. Some provide for day care which enables a spouse to continue working and yet care for the loved one at home when not working. Plans can provide for automatic increase of benefit maximums of, say, 5% a year so that the coverage will offset the effects of inflation.

    There may be participation levels required to activate coverage for a group or else individual underwriting may be required.

    Generally speaking, these plans are more expensive than other voluntary benefits and may be out of the range for meaningful coverage for lower paid employees. It tends to be more appealing to employees with more discretionary income -- but fortunately these are the people who often have the assets needing the protection.

    This type of coverage may or may not be appropriate to offer to your employees. But it is worth discussing and evaluating. It could be one of the most valuable and appreciated benefits you offer to your employees! We will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you and give you the information to make a good decision.


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