While long term care insurance continues to rise, some say it’s worth it for peace of mind.
Long term care insurance will help pay for expenses incurred from a nursing home or home health assistance while protecting your assets. Long term care companies are in turmoil for increasing premium on policies by as much as 80%. Many companies have actually pulled out of the market altogether.
The premiums are increasing because of the increase of long term care expenses. While the insurance premiums increase some say that the rising cost of expenses is too large to ignore and they are willing to pay thousands in order to protect their assets. People just don’t seem to understand that Medicare will more than likely not cover long term care expenses.
Sari Roboff learned a big lesson from her parents about the importance of planning for the worst.
Roboff’s mother and father purchased long-term care policies years ago, while they were healthy. A few years after buying this insurance that covers nursing home and in-home care, her father was diagnosed with dementia.
The policy paid for his care from 2004 until his death this year.
The experience prompted Roboff and her husband to buy policies for themselves.
“I saw how beneficial it was,” said Roboff, a management consultant from Manhattan. “I can sleep at night.”
The long-term care industry is in turmoil with insurance companies hiking premiums on existing policies by as much as 80%, while raising prices on new ones. Many insurers have pulled out of the market altogether in the face of shrinking profits.
But for some consumers like Roboff, the overwhelming, ever-rising cost of long-term care is too large to ignore. And they’re willing to pay thousands of dollars a year in premium costs to protect their assets.
The average cost of a nursing home in Manhattan is now a mind-boggling $180,000 a year, according to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey. The cost in Queens is $140,000.
“Most middle class people don’t have that kind of change lying around,” said Bernard Krooks, a partner in New York law firm Littman Krooks and a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
Often people don’t understand that Medicare generally doesn’t cover long-term care costs. Medicaid only covers those with very little in income and assets.
If you were to buy a long-term care insurance policy, would you ever end up needing it? No one can answer that.
“If you die, it will be for naught, but that’s what insurance is about,” said Gideon Schein of Eddy & Schein, a daily money manager for seniors in Manhattan.
Some policyholders have actually collected huge sums. Last week, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) reported that insurers paid $6.6 billion in claims in 2012 to 264,000 people.
The largest open claim had reached $1.8 million in paid benefits, doled out over 15 years and nine months. The policyholder had paid $2,500 in premiums over three years.
“Is she a winner? No,” said Jesse Slome, executive director of AALTCI. “But the insurance has made her family’s life so much better.”
Just like with any insurance policy it’s a risk on rather or not you will need it. Studies have shown that most people will require some type of long term care before they die. When the time comes that you do require long term care it will make it much easier on you and your family to know that you are covered with a policy. New York Daily News published the story of a real life couple who decided to purchase a policy once they saw how much easier it made their lives because their parents had long term care insurance.