Do I Even Need Long Term Care Insurance?
National Long Term Care Insurance Awareness month is coming to a close, so I thought I’d end this month with one final thought on long term care insurance. Do I even need it? It’s amazing, out of all the insurances out there that we use to try to protect ourselves against risk, that this one question always seems to come up.
My first thought here is we know we’re going to die. Morbid as that statement sounds, the reality is, we know this to be a fact and it automatically validates owning life insurance. Now don’t get me wrong, not all of us want to make our kids trust fund babies, but when we do pass, we at least want to take away their burden by having some final expense life insurance. Funeral’s aren’t cheap, and having a small life insurance policy in place seems like common sense. So all of us admit we’re going to pass away, and taking care of that financial burden for our loved ones left behind makes sense.
But am I ever going to become disabled later in life? This is where we have no real bench mark, although we try to put one in place mentally. We could all say “Well, my great Aunt Mary smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, ate beef three days a week and worked in a textile mill her whole life (that’s a true story). She passed away at 87 and never needed a day of long term care.” Isn’t this how we all want to go? Come home, have a nice meal, go to bed and pass in our sleep?
Well the reality is, we have no control over our health in later years. Unfortunately, we’re all likely going to fail either on a “physical” stand point or a “cognitive” or a combination of both. Currently, most people need some form of care, either in their homes or a nursing setting, for a minimum of 6 months to a year of their life. Oddly enough, if you own a long term care insurance policy, that’s usually the length of time it takes for you to recoup back the premiums you paid into the contract, with benefits paid out to you for your care.
But if I can self-fund long term care, why own a policy? Great question. For people who have this approach, they need to keep one very important thing in mind. Who’s going to help you transition with your primary care doctor when you start to go down that “loss of independence” path? Answer: your spouse, your children, or extended family members. So think of it this way, even if you can self-fund, having a small policy in place is critical to help them through that process.
Every long term care policy has what’s called “care coordination” services built in. This is where a health coordinator will work with your primary care doctor, to assist in implementing a plan for your care when the time comes. They go out into the community and seek out the services your doctor is recommending. If you are able to afford self-funding, you may want consider this one aspect of long term care insurance.
So to wrap it up, long term care insurance isn’t for you, even though you receive the benefits. It is really to help assist your family members in making a smooth transition as you start to lose your independence later in life.
About the author: Mark Yurkovic has been in the life insurance business for over 12 years, and holds CLTC, LUTCF, and CES designations. He enjoys building remote control boats, and playing instruments including the piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Mark would love to discuss life insurance options and work towards finding the best policy fit for your family. You can contact Mark at 1-800-651-1953 or MYurkovic@Pivot.com