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Dealing with a family member's long-term care insurance

Kris Miller Author, “Ready For PREtirement”; Estate Planning and Living Trust Expert; National Speaker

It is any person’s dream to live his retirement years in comfort and peace. But with the economic crisis we’re facing right now, purchasing long-term care insurance seems to be a bit of a challenge. To help you deal with this task, here are a few doable tips that may prove to be valuable. 


Do plan early

You know we’ll all get there: the years when we need someone to do the bathing and even the clothing for us. And to make sure that your retirement years are full of comfort and adequate care, you have to plan ahead. Think about what you’ll need as early as now. Do you have existing medical conditions that you need to prepare for? Does Alzheimer run in the family? Because if you already have medical conditions which require a lot nursing and assisting, then it’s the right time to start saving up for long-term care.

Do your homework

Adequate information is really necessary. If you’re a daughter or a son trying to canvass for your folks’ guaranteed care for the first time, expect a tough ride. You have to look into your family’s financial capability; ask your friends for referrals and suggestions; get a hold of client reviews or feedback regarding potential insurance companies and of course consult professionals who can explain to the family the different terms and choices suitable to your needs. Never ever make an impulsive choice or decision.

Do buy before age 60

Make sure that there’s already long-term care insurance purchased when you or your loved one turns 60. Some people deal with insurance policies later only to find out that they’re no longer eligible for a number of benefits due to medical conditions. So before you get to that stage when you’re physically challenged and different illnesses have already surfaced, make sure you’re indeed protected. 

Do consider the policy's daily benefit

When choosing your policy, you have to consider its daily benefit. Take into account the hourly costs of nurses, daily costs of rooms and get those values by checking the rates of prospective nursing homes. Remember that their rates vary that’s why you’ll need to canvass and come up with a daily value that’s equal to or more than your estimated expenses. It won’t be helpful to incur a lot of out-of-pocket costs when that time comes.

Do deal with a reputable and trusted insurance company

Do business with an insurance company that’s been in the industry for years because obviously, they have more experience. Do not make a choice solely on the basis of celebrity endorsements, misleading advertisements, pressure or anxiety. Relax. Check the company’s profile, its stability and credibility. Research about client feedback and also get the opinion of your trusted loved ones.


Do not make impulsive decisions

Don’t get pinned down when agents pressure you into purchasing the policy right then and there. Remember, not all agents are concerned about your welfare. Let’s face it. Some are just after closing the deal and making their commissions. So if your agent is using ridiculous means such as unbelievable comparisons and coercive strategies, ditch the guy.

Do not be lazy

Never ever pay for or sign anything without the full understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. Make sure you read the terms and seek the assistance of the insurance company or its representative to give light to your questions. 

Do not make out payments to the agent

Don’t pay your agent in cash. Even if you trust the guy, remember that we’re not only talking about money here. You and/or your loved one’s welfare is also at stake. What you can do is send out checks or bank drafts payable to the company itself and not to your agent. 

Do not forget to get copies of your receipts

You surely don’t want your hard-earned money go to waste. Make sure that you’re provided a receipt for every payment you make. If it has already been 60 days or more since your last payment and you still haven’t received the policy, you should contact the insurance company and your agent to find out what the problem is. Make necessary actions from there on. 

Do not be fickle-minded

Switching to another policy is a big risk. Analyze its implications to the benefits that you’re supposed to receive, how much more money you’re going to spend and any possible refund that you may get from your current policy. 

Jumping cartoon

In reality, long-term care insurance policies are expensive but we can’t disregard the fact that they are very valuable. Getting one for yourself or for a loved one ensures that the beneficiary will receive the care that he or she deserves. So plan, save and purchase early towards comfortable and happy golden years. 

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Kris MillerAuthor, “Ready For PREtirement”; Estate Planning and Living Trust Expert; National Speaker

Kris Miller, a retirement and living trust expert, has advised over 5,000 families in the past 20 years on retirement and estate planning issues. She coined the phrase, “pretirement” to emphasize how we need to prepare for our Golden Years way b...

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