Monday, January 30, 2012

New York Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Educational Website Launched

A consumer educational website focused on the New York Long Term Care Insurance Partnership program has been launched by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).

According to Jesse Slome, executive director of AALTCI, the Partnership programs provide some very unique asset protection benefits designed to encourage more middle income individuals to undertake long term care planning.

New York State was one of the four original states to offer the special Long Term Care Partnership program, Slome explains. Connecticut, California and Indiana were the other three original states.

“The Partnership program was originally made possible by grants from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation with the specific goal of making affordable long term care insurance protection available and attractive to as many individuals as possible,” Slome adds.

New York residents are eligible for the program that can only be offered by approved insurers and licensed professionals who take part in special training. The Association will be working closely with designated professionals to help consumers seeking information as well as cost proposals for this important protection.

The web address for the new website is and provides the latest information on the program.

Established in 1998, the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance is the national organization created to educate consumers about the importance of long term care planning and to support insurance professionals who market these products.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance State Tax Deduction Guide Published

Long term care insurance premiums may be fully tax deductible for individuals and a growing number of states now offer deductions and even tax credits to those purchasing this important coverage.

According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, the national trade organization, tax deductibility gives individuals and business owners one very important reason to consider ways to address future long term care needs.

“Americans are living well into their 80s, 90s and even longer when the likelihood of needing extremely costly long term care services is almost a guarantee,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the national trade group charged with creating awareness for long term care related issues. “The federal and state governments recognizes this and offers the tax incentives to encourage more people to plan.”

Individuals may be able to deduct long term care insurance premiums paid from their 2011 federal income taxes. The federal levels are based on your age, Slome notes, ranging from $340 to $4,240 per-person and increase for new policies purchased in 2012. Individuals face certain limitations that are not imposed on self-employed or corporations. “These entities may able to make the full cost tax deductible,” Slome adds.

In addition to federal tax deductibility limits, a growing number of states now offer either tax deductions or tax credits to encourage state residents to purchase long-term care insurance.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance has just published a state-by-state listing of available tax deductions on the organization’s website at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Women Aged Over 85 Have Higher Prevalence Of Arthritis And Joint Pain

A new study finds that the lifetime prevalence of arthritis is 65.4% in individuals aged 85, with women impacted more than men.

According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, while arthritis is strongly connected with age, few investigations have studied how the oldest individuals (those aged 85+ years) are affected by the disease.

The study looked at over 1,000 individuals aged 85 years old and revealed that for any arthritis the lifetime prevalence was high, with 65.4% of the participants having arthritis. According to Slome, the researchers discovered that the disease was more common in women than men: 69.1% vs 58.8%.

Osteoarthritis the researchers found was most prevalent in the knee joint followed by the hip and hand. A percentage of those participating in the study identified the knee as the most painful joint, even though the foot, ankle and lower back received the highest pain score.

With the exception of the shoulder and foot, for all joints women reported a higher average pain score.

The study was published today in the journal Age and Ageing. According to AALTCI, arthritis is the fourth leading cause of long term care insurance claims for nursing home care, following Alzheimer’s, nervous system conditions and stroke.

“With more Americans living into their 80s and beyond, having a long term care plan in place is more important than ever,” declares Slome. “Most people wait too long to consider their options because the right time to plan is prior to turning age 65.”

Monday, January 9, 2012

Memory Boost Reported From Taking B Vitamins

A new study reports that adults who consumed vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements for two years had greater improvements on short- and long-term memory tests than adults who did not take the vitamins.

According to the researchers the benefits of taking the added vitamin supplements were modest. “Still it is encouraging and good news for aging Americans who are living longer and want to minimize the risk of dementia or cognitive decline,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, the national trade group charged with creating awareness for long term care related issues.

Today, some 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease according to the 2011 Long Term Care Almanac published by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. “Two thirds are women,” explains Jesse Slome, the organization’s director, “and most survive an average of four to eight years after diagnosis, though some live as long as 20 years.” Alzheimer’s is the leading cause for long term care insurance claims.

By 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association predicts as many as 16 million individuals will be diagnosed with the disease. They note that of Americans age 65 and over, one in eight has Alzheimer’s and that nearly half of all those who reach age 85 have the disease.

Researchers in Australia asked more than 700 people, aged 60 to 74 years, to take a daily dose of folic acid and vitamin B12 or placebos that resembled the vitamins. The study only included people who showed signs of depression, but were not diagnosed with clinical depression.

The vitamin dose included 400 micrograms of folic acid and 100 micrograms of vitamin B12. Scientists reported that after 12 months, there seemed to be no difference in how well participants scored on mental tests, including memory, attention and speed.

The researchers, however, reported that after two years the participants who were taking the real vitamins showed larger improvements in their scores on the memory tasks. They noted however that for any given individual, there may or may not be an effect.

The scientists postulated that the reason for the changed results is that the vitamins reduce the body’s levels of a molecule called homocysteine, which is linked to cardiovascular disease and poor cognitive function.

Financial planning experts advise that adults in their 50s and young 60s with a family history of cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s look into long term care insurance. “Insurance is only available to those who can medically qualify,” Slome explains, “because the long term care insurance industry already pays out over $6 billion a year in claims, so they look for those who aren’t already diagnosed with some risky condition.”

Monday, January 2, 2012

Red Meat Eaters Have More Kidney Cancer

Individuals who eat red meat are reported to suffer from a higher risk of some types of kidney cancer.

According to U.S. researchers middle-aged adults who ate the most red meat were almost one fifth (19%) more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer than those who ate the least. The scientists also noted that the increased intake of chemicals found in barbecued or grilled meats was also linked to increased risk of the disease.

“Cancer is increasingly a critical illness impacting millions of American adults,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “U.S. guidelines for better health call for limiting high-fat foods including processed meat, and instead eating more lean meat and poultry, seafood and nuts.”

Researchers noted that previous studies examined links between red meat and kidney cancer had arrived at mixed conclusion. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville used data from a study of close to 500,000 U.S. adults age 50 and older, which were surveyed on their dietary habits, including meat consumption. The researchers followed the study group for an average of nine years to track any new cancer diagnoses.

On average, men in the study ate two or three ounces of red meat per day, compared to one or two ounces among women.

During the study time period some 1,800 of the participants or less than half a percent were diagnosed with kidney cancer. Those with the highest consumption of red meat were 19 percent more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer than those who ate the smallest amount. The highest consumption was about four ounces per day and the lowest was less than one ounce per day.

People who ate the most well-done grilled and barbecued meat and therefore had the highest exposure to carcinogenic chemicals that come out of the cooking process also had an extra risk of kidney cancer compared to those who didn’t cook much meat that way.

“More Americans are following healthier plans with the desire of living a long life,” Slome explains. “If you live into your 80s or beyond, the likelihood you will need long term care is vastly increased but you need to start preparing for this in your 50s and early 60s when the most planning options are still available to you.”