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WSJ: Case For And Against Long-Term-Care Insurance

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 6:49 AM
This is another for-and-against WSJ article. Both sides agree that long-term-care insurance is primarily for those with midlevels of savings. Wealthy can self insure, and the poor have Medicaid. They debate on the merits of long-term-care insurance for this midlevel savers. The one against it sums up his argument with the following:
Buying any insurance can be considered a gamble. But with long-term-care policies, the high cost and the low probability of qualifying for benefits add up to a losing bet for most consumers.

7
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,469 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,077
1. Monday, May 14, 2012 - 8:31 AM
I purchased a LTC policy at age 55 and regard it as an essential part of financial planning. My policy has an inflation rider and the daily coverage increases a minimum of 5% annually. I designed the policy to pay for half the costs of care since I can afford the other half without dissolving my savings.

Pre-existing health conditions can cause higher premiums for a policy or even being turned-down. One must be very selective in choosing the insurance company that markets LTC policies. Some no longer offer them or have started raising the premiums to prohibitive levels. For federal government employees and retirees and military retirees there are plans also offered. Some policies have premiums that are even tax deductable.

The first 90 days of coverage is a point of debate. Medicare, under some very strict guidelines, may pay for some of the care, but it's highly unlikely. That's why a policy will be much cheaper with the 90 day elimination period. You have to be able to afford the first 90 days of the long-term care. In the end, it's a personal decision. My policy runs $1,842 annually for a lifetime benefit with the 90 day elimination period.  If you had to pay for the LTC yourself after the first 90 days, that would last about a week for care in a facility.
3
ShorebreakShorebreak2,622 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,216
2. Monday, May 14, 2012 - 7:21 PM
I purchased LTC for my wife and me last year. I debated it for many months before deciding it was the right thing to do. The scenario which convinced me to buy it was the one if a spouse needs LTC and a significant amount of the couple's assets are used to care for that spouse, what happens after the spouse eventually succumbs and the other spouse lives for many more years. That could be a big problem for the surviving spouse if much of their assets were depleted taking care of the ill spouse.
5
loulou544 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,397
3. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 6:29 PM
You probably won't collect if you do need it

"Aged, Frail and Denied Care by Their Insurers" Aged, Frail and Denied Care by Their Insurers - New York Times

"The Latest Long-Term-Care Snafu" Family Value: When Insurers Deny Claims - WSJ.com
5
cactuscactus51 posts since
Jan 17, 2010
Rep Points: 383
4. Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 3:14 AM
Long term care insurance is not for everyone. Why? Each one of us is unique and our needs differ from one another. Some would need long term care for an extended period of time while others will only require ltc for a short period of time. There's no doubt that ltci can lift the burden of paying for expensive long term care expenses but you can only benefit from this if you have a coverage that is just right for you. Hiring a care coordinator that can help you assess your needs and help you make the right course of action is essential in order to make sure that you're making a worthy investment. Also, by requesting for online long term care insurance quotes from reliable websites such as Long Term Care Insurance Quotes | LTCOptions.com and https://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/free-quote/ you can find a policy that is within your budget and can satisfy your future ltc needs.
1
rharrington578rharrington5781 posts since
Mar 12, 2014
Rep Points: 1
5. Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 10:11 AM
To buy or not to buy? There is no right answer for everyone. My wife and I purchased it just over a year ago. We are both in our 40's. We bought a policy with a daily benefit that equaled the average daily expense in our area and also purchased the 5% annually increase. So we hope for that to cover most of the expense when needed. I agree that buying LTC insurance is gamble, will I ever need it, will I just die in a car accident on the way home today, do not know. But I agree with what Lou (post#2) said, "The scenario which convinced me to buy it was the one if a spouse needs LTC and a significant amount of the couple's assets are used to care for that spouse, what happens after the spouse eventually succumbs and the other spouse lives for many more years. That could be a big problem for the surviving spouse if much of their assets were depleted taking care of the ill spouse." That is what convinced me, that and getting my Dad with dementia into the nursing home and the medicaid nightmare.
2
dpandslemmendpandslemmen28 posts since
Feb 10, 2011
Rep Points: 118
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