Should You Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?
Recent ads in the mail and on daytime television advertise a product that no family should go without, or at least that’s what they claim. That product is long-term care insurance. Is it worth it? Will it really cover all assisted living or home health expenses? What about modifications for disability access? Well, there are no guarantees. Long-term care insurance can cover some medical expenses should you be diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease. Some policies will reimburse families for out of pocket costs for medical care received in the home, in an adult care center or assisted living facility. The issue is that coverage is not available, at least not cheaply, once you develop a condition and need to draw on the policy. If you are considering long-term care insurance, it is wise to purchase a policy in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s to get your best chance at approval and an affordable monthly rate.
Devising a Financial Strategy
Paying for a life insurance and long-term care insurance policy in addition to all your other monthly costs can get expensive. You might wonder if it is worth it to pay into an insurance policy that won’t cover everything, especially if you may never need advanced care. That decision is yours to make, however, there are other financial strategies available to you if you are ready to begin long-term care planning. For example, you can divert assets and title to an irrevocable trust, protecting your home and vital possessions from asset seizure in the event you fall behind in assisted living payments.
Diverting most of your asset portfolio and total wealth to a trust may also increase your eligibility for a Medicaid waiver to pay for a good portion of assisted living costs. However there are two caveats. You must transfer assets or devise a trust at least five years prior to applying for a waiver, and if you create an irrevocable trust you are barred from accessing or liquidating funds or assets within the trust. In fact you will appoint a trustee who is responsible for the maintenance of the trust and distributions. This might be a good option for you if you have enough saved in retirement to maintain the cost of living on a stipend.
Incorporating Feedback from Loved Ones
If you have a large family with lots of children, or perhaps an adult child lives with you, it is very possible that a child would be willing to act as a caregiver and advocate for you as you advance in age. This is something you would want to discuss well in advance without putting pressure on an adult child. Sometimes a family caregiver simply is not equipped or lacks the resources to provide an aging parent with the advanced, round-the-clock care their condition requires. However, it does not hurt to have this discussion with your loved ones when you are still able to make decisions with proper planning and advice. If you want to have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to assisted living facilities, it might make a lot of sense to consider purchasing long-term care insurance, but you should discuss your options with an experienced elder law attorney before finalizing your plans.
Contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group
Purchasing a high rate long term insurance plan or a reverse mortgage is often expensive, timely, and to your detriment. It might not even be an option if you are engaged in crisis planning for an elderly loved one. These options can be avoided with a strategic, thought out long-term care plan, decided upon before you or a family member need immediate live-in assistance. Our long-term care planning lawyers at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group are dedicated to providing help and guidance to our clients when they need it most, in times of crisis and in preparation for more intensive needs as they age. We can help you devise a long-term planning strategy today. Why wait? Call today to schedule a consultation.