As the American people age and improvements in medical science allow us to survive illness and accidents more than ever before, people with Long Term Care Insurance are receiving benefits in even larger numbers.
The nation’s long-term care insurance companies paid $8.65 Billion in claim benefits in 2016 according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) a national consumer education and advocacy group.
“The total of all benefits paid increased by over six percent,” reports Jesse Slome, director of the AALTCI, in their report of annual claims data. In 2015, AALTCI reported total claims amounted to $8.15 Billion paid to individuals.
“The number of individuals are being paid benefits because they purchased a traditional long-term care insurance policy increased by nearly eight (7.7) percent,” Slome explains. Without insurance to pay some or all of the the cost, Slome acknowledges the caregiving responsibility often falls on elderly spouses or adult children of aging parents.
“It’s more than just money that long-term care insurance provides,” Slome adds. “It’s as much about having control and choices, while protecting your retirement plans and lifestyle,” Slome notes.
Many top financial advisors and retirement specialists recommend affordable Long Term Care insurance to be part of a person’s future retirement plan.
Long Term Care will cost anywhere from $44,000 to $96,000 a year depending on the type of care you require but you need a plan to pay for that,” said Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s “Today Show” who appeared recently with Matt Lauer to discuss the need for consumers to plan in advance for the high costs of Long Term Care.
Dave Ramsey, a nationally known author, and radio host says a plan for long-term care is essential.
Whether you have $1 million-plus in the bank or not, I strongly recommend it as a wise part of any asset management plan,” said Ramsey.
There are many options available for consumers from traditional plans, partnership policies available in most states which provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection, short-term care plans, and hybrid plans which offer a single premium plan which a death benefit in the event you never require care.
”I like to tell consumers who are deciding if this is a prudent move, that having even some long-term care insurance in place allows loved ones to care about you rather than being forced to care for you.” – Jesse Slome
Many experts suggest to start considering a plan by age 50 to safeguard your 401k and other assets from the financial costs and burdens of aging.