For this week’s post, Charlotte asked Rebecca Bloomfield, partner at Jerry S. Pearlstein Insurance, to speak to caregivers about long term care insurance. She and Jerry head up a unique agency of trusted advisors, helping individuals and families to take control of their personal financial planning … and more.
Please describe the concept of long term care insurance.
“Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) pays for services when more than 90 days of continuous care are required. It’s contingent upon an individual’s inability to do at least two of the six activities of daily living: bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring.”
How early should a person look for coverage?
“Most people come to us when it is too late. The lowest premiums are when one is youngest. You can start early with a progressive sequence of plans with upgrades along the way, many times without medical exams required. Most people look at life insurance when they start a family, and that is also a good time to look at the long term picture.”
Sounds like it is for caregivers… What is the right level of plan a caregiver may need?
“Traditional LTC insurance has been based on a person being in a nursing home. You anticipated how long you would anticipate be in a facility and how much that might cost. Today, 80% of people want to stay at home when they cannot do two of the ADLs. They want to stay in community. So, there are now plans that cover the cost to do that by paying caregivers, or adult day care centers, or drivers…and you stay out of a facility.”
Can my older parents get covered?
“Once you are over 70, it is tremendously expensive. …and then there are pre-existing conditions. When you are young and healthy is when to start. Care receivers cannot get new insurance…but it is the right time for the kids who are the caregivers to get their plan.”
Anything else caregivers should know?
“The biggest misconception of people who come to us is that Medicare will cover long term care. It is not designed to cover sustained care over 90 days. Medicare is diagnosis-based and is built on a plan of care for a person to get better. Long Term Care Insurance should be seen as a way to assure the ability to live a long and happy life without being a burden to the children. …and to preserve your choices.”
Charlotte Bishop is a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Care Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.