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Talking with your parents about long-term care insurance

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Kelly Blog Photo“Are you trying to put me in a nursing home?” Chances are you've heard this kind of response if you've ever talked to your parents about long-term care insurance (LTCi). It may be a challenging conversation, but it's an important one, because today's LTCi offers much more than nursing home care and could help your parents maintain their independence. Here are a few suggestions on how to approach it.

Focus on independence, quality of life, and peace of mind. Emphasize that you want to protect their ability to have choices about where and how they receive the care they need. Medicare won’t pay for extended personal care (nor will the best health insurance policy), and Medicaid is not something most people should be considering. In fact, the sad reality is that many people end up on Medicaid after they’ve spent through their personal assets and savings—something they had worked hard their entire lives to avoid.

Help them understand what LTCi covers. In the early years of LTCi (less than 40 years ago), it was primarily designed as nursing home insurance. This is no longer the case. Make sure your parents understand that today’s LTCi policies are designed to pay for home health care as well. When a policyholder qualifies for benefits, (i.e., needs help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, etc.), the policy will pay for home health aides to provide such services along with transportation, housekeeping, shopping and more. Some policies will even pay cash to relatives and friends who assist with informal care needs. 

Express the hope that they remain in their home the rest of their lives. When asked where they would prefer to receive extended personal care, most people will choose the familiarity and comfort of their own homes. LTCi may help them do just that for a longer period of time.

Look into LTCi sooner rather than later.

  • LTC insurance is underwritten, which means they must be in reasonably good health when applying.
  • An LTC event can happen at any time, because no one knows when one might take a serious fall, suffer a stroke, or develop a disqualifying medical condition. 
  • The premiums are age-based, so the younger the applicant, the lower the premiums over the lifetime of the policy.

Invite them to a personal online LTCi seminar through Member Benefits where you can all learn together from the comfort of your home. One of our LTCi specialists will cover the basics of long-term care and what to look for in a policy, answer general questions about medical conditions, and estimate monthly policy costs.

Register for your personal seminar today or call 888-247-5905 for more information.

Kelly Behnke, CIC, CISR, ACSR
Personal Insurance Consultant