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"Shopping for long term care insurance is like going to the dentist. It's not something I like doing, but the alternative could be worse" - a 69 year old client, West Texas
P.O. Box 8204
The Woodlands, Texas 77387
Toll Free 877-315-5967
Office 281-296-8343

Texas License: 1216895
California License: 0C07893

Who should consider long term care insurance?

Everyone except: (a) those without assets who can qualify for Medicaid (Medi-Cal); (b) those whose lifestyles would be seriously compromised by the monthly premiums; or (c) those wealthy enough to self-insure.

When discussing long term care we hear many different perspectives.  Here are a few:

  • “My estate is worth more than five million dollars; I don't really need this insurance.”

This is probably true. Wealthy clients usually get long-term care insurance, not because they need it, but because they can afford the insurance and it makes sense.  Also, some clients want the infrastructure and “peace of mind” that comes with a policy.  If they need care, they want their loved ones to be able to pick up the phone and get expert guidance.  They want a professional rather than having to crisis manage or deal with the situation alone.

  • “I’m never going to loose my independence, so why would I buy long-term care insurance?”

The truth is that we do not know who will need care and who will not.  I’m sure that Christopher Reeves and Ronald Reagan never expected to need care.  Both were very strong men at one time.  For the sake of researching the topic, think of how it will impact you and your family financially and emotionally if you did need care for a long period of time.

  • “I'm going to use my savings to pay for my care.”

This is something to consider because health insurance and Medicare will likely not pay for the vast majority of long term care expenses.  The cost of care is variable depending on the illness or accident and where you live, but consider that you could easily spend in excess of $50,000 or $100,000 a year on care.  Alzheimer’s, chronic illnesses, and accidents can be very long lasting and very expensive. (Click here to see a 2009 Cost of Care Survey-PDF)

Unfortunately, many people find out the hard way that health insurance, Medicare, and Medicare Supplemental policies do not pay for the vast majority of long term care expenses.

  • “I’m going to deplete my assets and rely on the government or my family members for my care.”

This is a choice some do make.  There are many consequences to this choice that should be considered.  Here are just a few:

  • How will depleting your assets effect your partner, children, and grandchildren? This is especially important if the surviving spouse lives another ten or fifteen years.
  • Can your family take care of you and do you want them to?
  • What will be the quality of your care?

Take the time to give some honest contemplation to turning over to your family the responsibility of caring for you in the future.  If you speak to those who have done this, you will find that it is quite a burdon. (Read Kate's story)

Note: When you design a policy, think about where you might be if you needed care. Generally speaking, the cost of care in urban areas like Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. is more expensive than in rural areas like Nacogdoches or Lufkin.  Also, many policies cover care internationally.