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Golden01

Long Term Care Insurance

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I've heard that, although you can't get Long Term Care (LTC) insurance once someone has Parkinson's Disease, it is important for the caregiver to get it. The main idea being, you might use up most of your savings for the person with PD and not have reserves if the caregiver needs help down the road. My husband retired on disability last year and we planned to get this taken care of once we paid off some debt and before I turned 60. Got the debt handled but my birthday is next week so don't know if we'll make that deadline or not.

 

If you've already made this decision, did you get the LTC insurance? Why or why not? If you did, where did you start for finding a reputable company? What other suggestions do you have for me? Does the big "60" make a difference in costs or availability?

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Hi. Long term care insurance is certainly a challenge. You might want to talk to your financial adviser if you have one-they seem to know a lot. Once you have a diagnosis of Parkinson's or any other disease, it's pretty hard to get any kind of insurance. Once many years ago I heard that Colonial Penn might offer it with a diagnosis. Of course we're in a whole new world of insurance today. Even many companies that had long term care insurance have pulled out according to what I've read. We had a window of opportunity open up through my husband's employer-AT&T-before he retired on disability also. It was offered by John Hancock to ALL employees without a medical exam, allowing for pre-existing conditions. (This was about 10 years ago) I jumped on it and then also signed up for myself. John Hancock and Genworth seem to be the big names in long term care insurance. We got the smaller policy and then about every three (3) years they offered an inflation add-on for an affordable sum. I figured a smaller policy was better than no policy at all. Now it has grown nicely and John Hancock is known for being a huge, stable company. You are right to be thinking about purchasing long term care for yourself-while you're still healthy. It's hard to part with the money but think of it like car insurance-you wouldn't drive without it and certainly don't plan on getting any thing back. It will give you peace of mind to at least have some kind of long term care. Best wishes to you.

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The offer came via a post card to our home for ATT employees. I'm guessing it wasn't part of the regular ATT package but I don't really know. It was unbelievable because by then my husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson's and this offer was too good to be true. It was true. You can buy John Hancock as an individual; my aunt purchased it after my uncle was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. There is another benefit you could try and see if your family qualifies for-it's the Aid and Assistance Benefit from the VA for veteran's (and their spouses) if they served during wartime. It's income based but by the time you pay for caregiving your income will probably drop to a qualifying amount.

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I looked into Long Term Care several years ago. It was going to cost so much and had a limit of $100,000 over three years that I decided it would be better to put the money in a Roth IRA which we could use no matter what. the more I have learned the better that decision was at our age and the prognosis for young onset PD. It is different for others, that is for sure.

Coach T

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Thanks for reminding me to check for those limits. Keeping the money in investments might be better. I work for a state agency and we have a great "457" deferred compensation plan. I've never been able to invest the maximum but know some that have socked away up to $17,000 a year. That would be better than paying premiums for a time-limited coverage.

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The thing is most people are in the nursing home for six months or less so usually you are better off self insuring.

 

my dad was in for a year and a half but it was on medicaid. While in there he starved himself to death.

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If you reach the point of qualifying for Medicaid, there are other options in some states besides nursing homes. I live in an Adult Family Home, known as group homes in some states. Here in WA Medicaid will pay for some Assisted Living facilities as well, but I find the care is better in my AFH.

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Hello, all:

I'm a certified financial planner, & that's why I felt so guilty of not purchasing a LTC two years ago for my husband. I urged all my clients who are in their late 50s to purchase one, yet I did not follow my own advice. In all honesty, who would knew he has it at the age of 49? Regrets, shame, I feel the guilt every time I see my husband's hands shaking.

 

Regardless, nowadays there are plenty options to choose: 1) stand alone LTC (use it or lose it) 2) LTC w/ Life 3) LTC w/ annuity. Depending on your goals & financial status, the option 1 can be the cheapest way to insure. The option 2) & 3) usually require a lump-sum premium upfront. However, if you live to an old age & never need the LTC, the premium can be used for yourself as a "longevity ins.", or passed on as the death benefit for your children. In addition, I know one ins. offers the LTC for the uninsurable spouse only if the insured one has a LTC ins. & later file a claim. That's when the uninsurable spouse can have the benefit.

 

I was very tempted to have that one. However, being healthy myself, the chance for me to file a claim soon is very slim. I end up purchasing the LTC/Life last Friday. Keep my finger crossed to get it since my term ins. just expired last yr. This way I solve two problems w/ one solution.

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Just two mo. ago, our FPA chapter had a LTC case manager to do a presentation. She told us one of the biggest misconceptions is people think in-home care is cheap. It is actually the most expensive method, especially for the chronically ill care. B/c of the caregiver shortage, many agencies won't send a caregiver out unless ths patient needs a minimum 4 hr. care. In our area, the current rate is $20/hr. If you use 4 hr a day, that's $2400 per mo, $28,800 per yr. God forbids if one needs a 24/7 care for a year, that's about $100k per year. So, all caregivers, do yourself & your family a favor-planning ahead & minimize that risk.

 

Also, age 60+ should not be a factor to apply tbe LTC as long as one is in a good health.

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The previous post was done by my wife; she is the brain of the family :-) Although not in this case, she didn't log in & use her name.

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