Spring Cleaning and Your Long Term Care Plan
The birds are chirping and spring is in the air. Time for a deep clean, and let the sun shine in!
But wait—besides rugs, furniture, and fabrics, there are other items to be shaken out too. Once your tax return has been filed, it’s time to focus on those oft-neglected but important items that are so easy to overlook.
You won’t be surprised that I’m calling your attention to your long term care insurance.
Do you have a policy? If not, I’d strongly suggest that you, like the birds who are very busy now building solid nests, build a solid future for yourself by procuring a long term care insurance policy. This policy becomes ever more important each year that passes. It provides ready funds when you need extended care, protecting your retirement savings, and retirement income, as well as your legacy/inheritance plans.
I spend a lot of time each year keeping current on what’s available, because finding the best long term care insurance plan for someone is both an art and a science. The best solutions depend on marrying each individual’s personal situation with what the marketplace offers.
If you already have a policy, do you know where it is? Remember, if you can’t easily call to mind the location of your policy now, you probably won’t be able to remember where it is years down the road—when you actually need the care.
However, even if you do know where the policy is, that’s only half the problem solved. Your long term care insurance policy should also be easily findable by not just you, but by the person who will be helping you fill out the paperwork at claim time.
While it’s true that a replacement or a duplicate policy can always be ordered, that process may not be easy or quick. Any such potential delay can mean a delay in claims payment, so I urge you to consider the following spring cleaning suggestions to get your long term care insurance “house” in order!
Make sure you have named someone responsible as the 3rd party to be notified in the event your policy is ever in danger of lapsing due to nonpayment. Double-check that their address is correct to ensure they’ll receive notifications.
Consider changing the billing on your policy to annual; this is the premium payment mode associated with the lowest rate of policy lapses.
Locate your long term care insurance policy, and, if you can’t, order a replacement.
Be sure to file the most recent annual statement together with the policy each year. This will facilitate knowing what benefits are available as soon as a need to file a claim arises.
Have every page of your LTC insurance policy copied and/or scanned. Send copies to key people such as your adult children, tax preparer, and estate planning attorney. (However, do not send any documents associated with your LTC policy by email, which is never recommended when transmitting any type of confidential information. A long term care insurance policy includes sensitive personal information, and should only be transmitted in a secure way.) This increases the odds that a policy will be easy to find at claim time.
For more information on how to file a long term care insurance claim, be sure to check out our handy guide here.
On a related note, check to make sure that you have a valid health care proxy executed. Many hospitals will not accept a copy, so execute several originals and give them to key people.
A little spring cleaning of all of your legal and financial long term care plans can pay big benefits when care is needed. No matter the reason, no matter the season!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss any aspect of long term care planning or long term care insurance you might need more information about. Baygroup Insurance can be contacted at http://www.baygroupinsurance.com/forms/contact-us or call us at 410-557-7907 for more information.