I met Tony a few years ago- Our accountant introduced him as someone she trusts, and someone who is wonderful to work with. We met Tony during a time when we really needed some sage advice about long term care planning and financial planning in general.
In my professional and personal life, I need to work with many “experts”. Unfortunately, not all…experts are easy to work with, offer specific information or, consider all factors when making a decision. Partnership of any kind has its challenges.
Working with Tony has been easy, comfortable and more importantly, I believe he has our best interest at heart. Shortly after meeting Tony, he allowed us the opportunity to care for his mother-in-law who needed our services. In turn, we work hard to make sure he and his family know that we have their best interests at heart.
The idea came to me a couple months back and was inspired by the notion that the best referrals usually come from the people you know and trust.
Because I work with seniors and invariably, with children of seniors, a frequent query is about Long Term Care insurance. When to buy, the benefits, what does it cover…so on and so forth. What I know for sure is that, Long Term Care Insurance helps, it is a great investment, and it allows people to afford care when they need it most.
I decided to interview Tony for this post because he is the expert on all things insurance. Below are my questions with his answers:
1. Who should consider LTC insurance?
A: People who have assets to protect, or wish not to be dependent on government aid or to become a financial burden to their family.
2. Why should anyone purchase LTC insurance?
A: To protect significant assets and income; you want to stay independent of the support of others and you wish to have flexibility of choosing care in the setting you prefer or where you’ll be most comfortable.
3. What are the qualifiers to use the policy?
A: (ADL) Usually when one is unable to do 2 of the activities of daily living this triggers the beginning of the benefit period. These activities of daily living usually include bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring.
Cognitive impairment may also trigger benefits.
4. What is an elimination period?
A: This varies based on how long the applicant wishes to self insure and what costs are associated with the elimination period. Usually the chosen elimination is 90 days, which means your benefit payments don’t begin until the 91st day of eligibility.
5. When should a person purchase a policy?
A: This is a question that can’t be answered, as it is dependent upon each individual’s needs. It’s not just for older people, say over the age of 60, because a 40 year old could have a stroke and need care for the rest of his life. One needs to evaluate when it’s sensible for them to entertain the need for purchasing.
6. What are some advantages of purchasing?
A: You have transferred payment risk to a third party, the same way you transfer risk with homeowners’ or auto insurance for which you pay a premium.
7. What should a person consider when purchasing a policy?
A: Too many to reference, however a good source for this answer is the Shopper’s Guide to Long Term Care Insurance. If you contact me, I’ll provide you with this guide.
8. Do policies cover care in a facility?
A: Yes, if you are purchasing this benefit.
9. Are there policies that cover couples?
A: Yes, you can “pool” your policy benefits under certain circumstances.
10. Where can someone purchase a policy?
A: Private insurance companies sell long term care insurance policies. You can buy an individual policy from an agent or through the mail or, you can buy coverage under a group policy through an employer or through membership in an association. The federal government and several state governments offer long term care insurance coverage to their employees, retirees and their families. This program is voluntary, and premiums are paid by participants. You can also get long term care benefits through a life insurance policy.
For more information and to speak with Tony-
Anthony J. DeGerolamo, CFP® CLU® CRPC®
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠
Levin, Aromando, Gussick & DeGerolamo, LLC
112 Haddontowne Ct., Suite 102
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
856-354-3200 EXT 207