Posts Tagged ‘Long Term Care’

Long term care and planning – thinking ahead to protect your future

With the average cost for a private room in a Massachusetts nursing facility at around $134,000 per year, long-term care expenses may catch many people by surprise, especially as the costs accumulate over time. Within five years, an individual will have paid over half a million dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for full-time nursing care. Even for those who opt to live at home and hire a health aide to administer their care, the median annual rate for Home Health Aide Services runs just under $60,000. Add to that the cost for homemaker services (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) and/or adult day care and the costs are well over $100,000.

While many people rely on retirement savings to help cover their long-term care, proper planning and budgeting for the future becomes even more critical for spouses who need care together, or if one person ends up caring for the other. Spouses living together in a private room at a nursing facility can expect to pay about $300,000 each year – that’s just under $1.5 million over five years. Now is probably Read more…

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Long Term Care: Planning ahead and securing your future

What do you think of when you hear the words “Long Term Care?”  If you’re like most people, you might think of an insurance policy, or maybe a nursing home. Surprisingly though, Long Term Care involves much more than those things. Sure, a person can purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy, or go into a nursing home for an extended period of time, but it’s important not to forget about the emotional, physical and financial effects that also come into play for individuals dealing with Long Term Care. Whether it’s arthritis in our joints or amnesia in our minds, getting older and slowing down is inevitable for all of us, and while it may seem far off in the future, effective planning for how to handle these life changes as we age is critical.

Long Term Care planning becomes especially important for partners and spouses whose children are likely to become the primary caretakers once their parents can no longer manage living alone. More often than not, these are the individuals who take on the responsibility of assisting with their parents’ daily Read more…

Presidential election puts Medicare back in the spotlight

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Medicare is a prominent topic in the 2012 Presidential election and in last week’s debate it was in the forefront on primetime television. How did Medicare get such a coveted position?

The first reason is the Baby Boomer vote. More than 72 million Baby Boomers will be 65, or Medicare reliant by 2030. In the 2008 presidential election year, there were 169 million registered voters. Based on these statistics, Baby Boomers make up a significant percentage of the voting base for the 2012 Presidential election and they’re concerned about retirement and healthcare after retirement.

After we’ve determined that an influential and large population has a vested interest in the topic of Medicare, we come upon the second reason that Medicare has become such a controversial Read more…

Three steps for human resources when it comes to retirement medical guidance

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Retirement brings uncertainty. Most Americans, throughout their careers, have relied on their employers and specifically Human Resource professionals to provide guidance, advocacy and support in most of their benefits decisions. Employer sponsored benefits and retirement programs are the cornerstone of protecting our health and long-term financial security. But in retirement, choosing a medical plan, a pharmacy program, or a place to park your 401k dollars is a scary proposition for even the most informed consumer.

Although most companies have done away with group sponsored retiree medical plans, it does not preclude them from becoming an information center for prospective retirees. Employees (or parents of employees) approaching age 65 are often inundated with information on Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Part D Read more…

A personal tale that accentuates the importance of Long Term Care

May 16, 2012 Leave a comment

During my nearly 30 years working as an employee benefits consulting  professional, I’ve helped popularize many benefit-related insurance products, despite sometimes harboring a lack of personal affinity with the primary intended audience. Long Term Care Insurance (LTC) emerged many years ago as just such a product – a concept pitch by the insurance industry seeking a new channel to tap into the buying power of baby boomers approaching retirement age.

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Employers would be smart to examine the costs of eldercare

Have you reviewed the reasons for your employees Leave of Absence (LOA) lately? If you have, you have most likely noticed an increase in lost days due to an employees need to care for an ill parent. Until I saw the actual numbers for myself, presenteesim and absenteeism were just buzz words used to describe decreased productivity for whatever product the presenter was selling. Never once did they place an actual number and financial impact behind these choice words. However, I recently saw a company’s FMLA report addressing Absence Reasons from 2009 and 2010. Maternity and non-occupational illnesses lead the way for both years in terms of reasons for absence. Surprisingly, right behind these two reasons for absence, was LOA for caring for an ill parent. In 2010, the combination of caring for an ill parent and caring for an ill spouse resulted in 19 leaves and 61 days lost. Why is this so surprising? Because in 2010 LOA for caring for an ill child resulted in 2 leaves and 14 days lost. Clearly caring for ill parents and spouses has surpassed caring for ill children. Read more…

Long Term Care – pricing has been a consistent problem

The recent announcement from John Hancock Financial to raise their long term care (LTC) premiums by an average of 40% may have come as a shock for some, but for the last decade, pricing for individual LTC has been a tumultuous task for the majority of companies in the LTC market. This market began developing in the mid-80’s with many companies offering basic LTC policies. In 1996 with the passing of HIPPA and the tax incentives placed on tax-qualified long term care policies, carriers enhanced their plans and the competition increased dramatically. The problem was that carriers and their actuaries were not accurate with their pricing assumptions. The first incorrect assumption was the lapse rate for individual long term care (ILTC) policies. ILTC was priced with approximately 8% to 10% lapse ratio, however companies were experiencing less than 4%. This makes sense when you think about the process and investment Read more…