Long Term Care Insurance
Look at the following statistics. If they don’t scare you into taking a long look at obtaining some kind of long-term care insurance (LTCI), nothing will.
- On average, 69% of people age 65 or older will need some form of long-term care (according to www.longtermcare.gov).
- The average daily cost of a private nursing home room in 2018 was $275 a day or $100,375 annually (private room).*
- The average daily cost of an assisted living care facility in 2018 was $132 a day or $48,180 annually (private room).*
- However, in some states, the cost for nursing home care is much higher: Alaska ($907 per day), New York ($401 per day), CT ($452 per day), California ($323 per day), and Pennsylvania ($333 per day).*
- Americans who are 65 years old and older and have incomes greater than $20,000, only 16% have LTC insurance.
- “Failure to prepare for the cost of a nursing facility stay or other long-term care is the primary cause of impoverishment among the elderly.” (The American Health Care Association, 1997)
*Genworth Cost of Care Survey
Do you have LTCI? Based on the statistics, we know for most the answer is NO.
Should you have LTCI? Based on the statistics, we know the answer is YES! If the average cost of a nursing home stay is over $100,000 a year, how many years do you have to stay in that home before spending a good percentage, if not all, of your wealth?
Why don’t people purchase LTCI? There are really two reasons people do not buy LTCI. 1) Cost. It can be expensive. 2) Need. Many people have the “it won’t happen to me” attitude when it comes to the need for LTC expenses.
The sad truth is that the people who buy LTCI are people who have had a loved one or a friend who felt the devastating effects of LTC costs and didn’t have LTCI.
What does LTCI cover? It depends on the policy purchased. Some cover only nursing home care while others cover in-home care as well as a number of other expenses. The coverage will have a limit (usually a daily or monthly limit).
What triggers LTCI coverage to kick in? Typically, it’s when you can’t perform “2 of 6 ADLs.” ADL stands for activities of daily living: Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, Continence, and Eating without help.
There are several different ways to obtain LTCI coverage. Depending on your situation, one may be better for you than another.
Traditional LTCI—this is the LTCI that provides the most coverage but is also the most expensive type of LTCI. You pay an annual premium of $2,500-$10,000+ a year (depending on your age); and if you incur LTC expenses, the policy will pay up to its daily limit. Traditional LTCI is like term life insurance. If you don’t use it, you do not get the premiums back.
Single-Premium Life Insurance policies that have LTC benefits—most people are not aware of the fact that they can purchase a life insurance policy that has an LTC benefit. Why would you purchase this type of policy? Because if you have LTC costs, the policy will pay and if you ever need the money you paid in premiums, it’s accessible. That’s right. If you paid a $200,000 one-time premium for a policy and needed the money in years two, three, or whenever, you could ask the insurance company for a refund of your entire premium.
Additionally, some policies grow money in the policy similar to money market/certificate of deposits. This type of policy is a good fit for an older client who has money sitting in CDs and money market accounts because they think they may need the money someday and, therefore, do not want to allocate it to buying traditional LTCI.
Retirement Life™ (RL) which you can learn about by clicking here, can be a terrific way for many people to grow wealth without losses in the stock market and where the money grows tax-free. A nice byproduct of using an RL policy is that the policy includes a chronic illness rider. Essentially, if you can’t perform 2 of 6 ADLs, the insurance company will give you 2% of your death benefit early (tax-free). This type of coverage is not as good as a traditional LTCI policy; but if you are buying a policy to build wealth, why not buy one with a chronic illness benefit included?
Deducting the cost for LTCI
Most people do not know how to write off traditional LTCI premiums. While not everyone can do so, some can. If you would like to learn how to obtain a 100% deduction for LTCI premiums, please click here.
Information provided is not intended as tax or legal advice and should not be relied on as such. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional.