Ice Cream, Elephants, and Long Term Care
On a hot summer day, when you’d do anything to cool down just a bit, does it really matter if you know what soft serve ice cream flavor you are getting up front—chocolate, vanilla, or twist? Similarly, when planning for long term care, it’s important not to get overwhelmed with the exact details of the policy from the get-go. The important thing is just starting the planning in the first place and figuring out the rest as you go along!
When someone needs long term care, they’re likely to have a few problems. In addition to the condition that causes the need for care, there’s the problem of finding a qualified caregiver. There’s also the problem of how to pay for it, since neither Medicare nor medical insurance, cover custodial care (the most common type of long term care).
Why doesn’t everyone purchase long term care insurance to take care of the problem then? Well, it’s not mandatory in most places!
Only one state currently requires long term care coverage—Washington. (And that minimal coverage isn’t what many people would consider optimal!) While your state likely mandates auto insurance to operate your car, many states only incentivize long term care, rather than mandate, it. Even the company that holds the mortgage on your home requires you carry homeowners’ insurance to protect their investment (until you’ve paid off the mortgage, of course!).
However, no such rule applies to your body or mind, despite the fact it’s getting older and perhaps more prone to accidents or illness every passing year. But if we think about it by insuring what we hold most dear, consider this: I’m guessing you consider your body and mind more valuable than either your car or home!
The uncertainty of exactly what an eventual care need will consist of can be daunting. No one healthy enough to seriously consider long term care insurance knows what will cause their eventual need for care. They don’t know if the need for care will arise in 10 years, or 25 years, the week after next, or never. That uncertainty can lead to confusion and procrastination on planning for long term care.
If someone is able to recognize the need to protect their future with long term care insurance, they face some choices. What policy type? Traditional or asset-based? What insurer? What amount? Duration of benefits? It can seem like, well, a lot. As a long term care insurance specialist I sometimes see myself as breaking this huge task into palatable, easier, smaller decisions. Kind of like eating a chocolate elephant. One bite at a time.
Here’s what I think— the uncertainties of an eventual care need, and the choices of policies are not the real problem. Having an uninsured need for care is.
So, don’t get overwhelmed by the exact details of “flavor choices” now; we’ll get to that later. Pull up a chair with me, and let’s get this done by putting one foot in front of the other to start. And if you’d like, we can even go get an ice cream after!
If you have any questions about your long term care insurance, please do be in touch. Baygroup Insurance can be contacted at http://www.baygroupinsurance.com/forms/contact-us or call us at 410-557-7907 for more information.