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Imagine trying to design a home if you didn’t know the local building codes, zoning laws, what materials were available and what they cost, and how to get utilities to the property.

Whether you’re a new long term care insurance policyholder (congratulations!), or you’re a family member of a policyholder and you’re anticipating a need for that person’s care, this article can help you get your claim paid quickly and with minimal stress.

It’s frequently said that long term care is a women’s issue, and there’s a lot of evidence to support that point of view. Sixty percent of family caregivers (read: unpaid) are female.

Prospects of higher inflation may strike fear in the hearts of most people. However, long term care insurance policyholders may actually have quite a different reaction. Let me explain:  

Decades ago, when someone needed long term care, it would often be provided at home. The only other option was to move to a nursing home, which most believed was a choice of last resort.

As you spend time with family members during this holiday season, you may want to consider: might they be easy prey to scammers and swindlers? If the answer is “yes” or even “maybe” or “I’m not sure,” please take a moment to consider these important points:

When someone needs long term care, a change in their abilities can happen quickly. Someone who for years has always written their own checks may, overnight, be unable to pay their own bills or coordinate the preparation of taxes. Anticipate this likely scenario.

For seniors who have been especially private about finances, this can be a difficult and delicate topic to bring up, but one way to approach it is to encourage them to introduce you to their attorney, their bank manager, their tax preparer. Realize that changes in mobility or cognition may make this difficult or impossible in the future.

We sing this – about “the olden days” – on New Years’ Eve.

However, in the world of long term care planning, honestly, there’s not too much to reminisce about. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here’s the way I see it.

Old people need care. Sometimes extensive care (not to mention expensive care).

Unfortunately, either through denial or ignorance, few want to admit to this fact. They also don’t want to pay for the care…especially not in advance.

So, as the saying goes, Houston, we have a problem!

The prevailing wisdom is that long term care insurance claims don’t happen until well after traditional retirement age. Say, age 80+, or even 90+ if you’re lucky. And that’s true— usually. But let’s consider the exceptions. Imagine you’re 45, 55, or 65, and you just bought a long term care insurance policy.

I find that the greater a person’s understanding is about exactly what long term care insurance can and cannot do, the more likely they are to clearly see its benefits.

Long term care (LTC) insurance pays a monetary amount for covered care when the insured either needs assistance with defined activities of daily living and/or has met the policy’s definition of cognitive impairment.

If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic we’re all living through, it’s the spotlight on long term care. Families with loved ones in senior care homes, whether assisted living units, nursing homes, or other facilities, were confronted right from the start with difficulties previously not considered.

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