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Long-Term Care

Long Term Care Insurance covers expenses associated with an extended illness or disability. These situations could include problems with cognitive function such as memory loss, confusion or disorientation, as is often seen with illnesses like Alzheimers disease. Examples of this type of care include help with daily activities such as getting dressed, eating, bathing or walking and are designed to help maximize independence. An in-home nurse, home health aide, or family member may be the one to provide this care.

Currently 9 million Americans over age 65 are using some type of long-term care services, and this number is expected to increase to over 12 million in the next 10 years. Individuals ages 65 and over are not the only group who need long-term care service. People ages 18-64 currently make up 40 percent of those who are using long-term care services.

Long-term care services are not necessarily nursing home services, although 40 percent of those who live to the age of 65 will require care at a nursing home. Seventy percent of long-term care services are provided in the home by family members, but these services are also provided in assisted living facilities and in the community.

The amount of coverage you may need can be difficult to predict, but the average person age 65 or older will need three years of long-term care services. Women tend to need care for longer (3.7 years vs. 2.2 years for men). The average cost of care in a nursing home is between $ 75-80,000 yearly. That makes the average 3 year stay cost over $175,000.

Reasons to consider Long-Term Care Coverage:

  • Relieve the potential burden on your loved ones, financially and emotionally.
  • Make sure you receive quality care and have the option to choose who cares for you
  • Help maintain your independence
  • Protect the assets that you have worked so hard to build

*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. What is Long Term? 2009.
* The Metlife Market Survey of Adult Day Services & Home Care Costs, September 2008.

Life Insurance

Choosing a life insurance policy can be a difficult decision, and regardless of your current stage in life there are always financial obligations that must be considered. Life Insurance provides protection for your family and loved ones if something unexpected happened to you and gives you the foundation for a secure financial future.

Important things to consider before choosing a Life Insurance policy are:

  • Where are you in life? Age, career, health, family size, family obligations.
  • How much debt do you currently have? Who would pay for this if you died?
  • Expenses that would be incurred if you passed away. Such as funeral/burial, medical expenses, etc.
  • The future needs of your family. If you have children will they attend college? How would your spouse cover expenses if you unexpectedly died?
  • Do you have personal or business plans to take into consideration? If you own your own business, or are self-employed, what would happen to your business after your death?

Types of Life Insurance:

Term and Whole Life policies are the two major types of Life Insurance. A term policy is designed to be a low-cost option with basic coverage in the event of your death. Term policies are available for specific amounts of time (10, 20, or 30 years) and assuming all premiums have been paid on time will provide a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you pass away within the specific term that you have chosen. A term policy does not accumulate any cash value making it an affordable option for life insurance coverage. Whole Life insurance policies do not have a term associated with them; they will provide coverage throughout your entire lifetime. Another notable difference in the two policy types is that Whole Life policies do accumulate a cash value. As long as the premium has always been paid on time the policy can be cashed out before your death if the need arises.

What is a fixed-indexed annuity?

An annuity is a contract between you and the insurance company. In return for your money, or “premium” the insurance company agrees to provide certain benefits such as:

*Your contract has a minimum guaranteed contract value.

*You can recieve interest credits that are linked to the performance of an external market index or a fixed interest rate.

*Annuities provide the advantage of a tax-deferred interest accumalation. You don’t pay taxes on the growth

Medicare Health Plans

Medicare does not pay for all of your medical expenses; this is why having a supplemental Medicare health plan is so important. Medicare Supplement Insurance specifically supplements coverage provided by Medicare Parts A and B. The benefits available in each plan vary as well as the premium amounts. Selecting the right plan and specific coverage for you will protect you from the gap that Medicare does not pay. You will also have the benefits of choosing your own doctor and knowing that benefits rise automatically with increases in Medicare deductibles and copayments.

Basic benefits covered by Medicare Parts A and B include the following:

  • Hospitalization: Part A co-insurance plus coverage for 365 additional days after Medicare benefits end
  • Medical expenses: Part B co-insurance (generally 20 percent of Medicare-approved expenses) or, in case of hospital outpatient department services under a prospective payment system, the applicable co-payment
  • Blood: First three pints of blood each year

Additional benefits that may be included depending on the standardized plan are:

  • Skilled Nursing
  • Medicare Part A and B deductibles
  • Foreign travel emergency
  • At-home recovery
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