The Need for Long Term Care Insurance



Long term care insuranceThe current restructuring of national health care and Medicaid legislation is getting attention in the media. With roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day from now until 2030, the future costs of health care in general, and in particular long-term care, should be a top concern for current and soon-to-be retirees.

A government analysis recently found that average Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have saved only about $100,000 for retirement. That’s actually not a lot when you realize that it translates to only a $300 monthly payment if your money were invested in a lifetime annuity.

So, how seriously should you consider getting some kind of insurance to cover long-term medical needs in case big Medicaid cuts are on the horizon?

Long-term care insurance is one of the more complex types of insurance on the market, but it could save you from falling into a money pit if you ever need it.  Nearly 70 percent of Americans 65 and older need long-term care at some point, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. So unless you’re one of the lucky 30 percent, you are going to need it.

Another important thing to consider is that having an alternative safety net at your disposal (investments for example) will offset the potential costs of long-term care. Think of it as a savings account for the out-of-pocket costs that may be incurred during a scenario where long-term care is required.

Another option is life insurance that offers a long-term care benefit. If you don’t need it, your heirs get the money when you die. This is something that is gaining traction in the financial services world – a “hybrid insurance.”  It’s life insurance with a long-term care rider that allows you to use that money for health care if you need it.

“Whatever you don’t use gets passed along to your family after you pass away. You can pay for it either all at once or over the course of 10 years or so,” explains Daniel Lerner, Executive Vice President, Investor Services at David Lerner Associates. 

Considering that long-term care insurance policies are some of the more complicated ones that you may encounter, this hybrid product may be just the ticket to simplify the process.


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