Monday, October 29, 2012

Reduce Long Term Care Insurance Cost By Eight Percent

Some eight million Americans own long term care insurance currently and several hundred thousand new policies are issued each year according to an industry report.

“This is really the first generation of Americans to need and buy this important form of protection in large numbers,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “Because it’s such a new topic, few people have the reservoir of knowledge that can help them understand ways to reduce the cost.” The leading industry expert was sharing planning information with consumers in conjunction with the upcoming Long Term Care Awareness Month.

 According to Association studies, the cost for long term care insurance can vary significantly for virtually identical amounts of coverage. “Our annual Price Index has found an enormous variance from one insurer to another making it vital that consumers know ways to get the best protection for the best cost,” Slome explains. An important step is to ask the insurance professional whether he or she is appointed with just one insurer or appointed and able to sell coverage from multiple insurers. “Are they looking out for your best interest, or are they just promoting the only option they have available to sell you,” Slome adds.

One way to reduce the cost is to pay on an annual basis as compared to making monthly payments. ”Our studies have found that a 55-year-old who pays once a year will save eight percent versus someone who pays monthly,” Slome states. “While it means writing a bigger check, that 55-year old will save several hundred dollars a year.”

November has been declared National Long Term Care Awareness Month, an opportunity for individuals to learn more about this important topic. “We understand we are living longer than ever but few people have taken the time to think about ways to prevent outliving their savings after retirement,” Slome concludes. “If you don’t want to be a burden to your loved ones and family, take a few minutes in November to learn more about the risks and options available to you.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance Expert Discusses Alzheimer’s Life Expectancy

Some 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, approximately two-thirds are women according to the Long Term Care Insurance Almanac.

“Alzheimer’s disease care costs Americans roughly $200 billion a year is the leading cause for the most expensive long term care insurance claims,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The leading industry expert was sharing planning information with insurance professionals in conjunction with the upcoming Long Term Care Awareness Month.

The life span of people with Alzheimer’s disease depends greatly on the age of the person when Alzheimer’s disease is first diagnosed, Slome noted. “While the median survival of patients with Alzheimer’s disease could range from between eight-to-nine years for persons diagnosed at age 65 it decreases significantly to approximately 3 years for persons diagnosed at age 90 years,” Slome explained.

Researchers report that the median survival time for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s ranged from 8.3 years for people diagnosed at age 65 to 3.4 years for people diagnosed at age 90. According to Slome’s analysis of scientific data, individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 65 could anticipate a 67 percent reduction in life span compared to those without Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also reported that the average length of time between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease was 2.8 years. However, they did not find any significant differences between men and women in survival after diagnosis of the disease.

Experts predict that in the next 50 years, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease will quadruple with approximately 1 in 45 Americans living with the disease. ”It is vital for more Americans between ages 50 and 65 to become aware of the risk and to plan for this risk, including looking into long term care insurance,” Slome concludes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance Is Option To Avoid Mandated Family Caregiving

Family caregivers provide the overwhelming percentage of personal care much of which is classified as long-term care according to the director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the industry trade group.

“Some 42 million caregivers provide unpaid care to family and friends at any given time,” says Jesse Slome, AALTCI’s executive director. ”These are dedicated and loving adult children with aging parents and good neighbors who provide an estimated $450 billion in unpaid care but their generosity comes with a cost, often a very high cost in terms of disrupted lives.”

Studies have shown that although family caregivers providing long term care services usually undertake these required care services willingly, they often experience high levels of emotional, physical and financial stress. “Many are adult women who now have to juggle jobs and caring for their own families with their caregiving responsibilities,” Slome notes. “Many parents are turning their children into indentured servants, something they never intended.”

Speaking to insurance professionals in advance of November’s Long Term Care awareness Month, Slome urged discussions with focused on planning to avoid giving adult children with aging parents no other choice but to disrupt their lives to provide unpaid care.

“Long term care insurance today is a viable and can be an affordable option to prevent having to make your children care for you,” Slome stated. “But, the option is only available to those who apply at an age when they can still health qualify and far to many people who call our offices have acquired age-related health conditions that prevent them from meeting the acceptable requirements.”

The ideal ages to start a long term care plan is between ones mid-50s and mid-60s according to the AALTCI director. “We strong urge people to start planning prior to retirement and qualifying for Medicare,” Slome told the group. “Medicare comes with wonderful free health screens that many take advantage of, but those screens uncover conditions that impact a person’s ability to health qualify for coverage.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance Riders To Be Studied By Association

Over the past year, several large life insurance companies have unveiled new riders that provide benefits apparently similar to traditional long term care insurance.

“There are many ways Americans can plan for the eventual need for long term care and our role is to educate consumers about their choices and make it as easy as possible to pick the best one,” says Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. The industry trade group supports insurance agents and financial professionals who market solutions to clients.

Life insurance policies that pay long term care benefits when a person meets qualifying conditions have existed for a number of years as have annuity contracts that offer this option. “Lately we are seeing riders to life insurance policies that appear to be the same but insurers offering them sometimes don’t have any long term care insurance experience so we want to make sure they are designed to really benefit consumers in the years to come,” Slome states. “Our philosophy is that an educated consumer prevents problems down the road both for their family as well as for the industry itself.”

The Association has announced an initiative designed to look into these newer riders and to help provide a balanced look that will benefit consumers. “There is no one single best solution that fits for every person,” Slome notes. “But financial products can be complex and we are getting an increasing number of calls from consumers who are concerned and want to know more.”

 Some eight million Americans currently have some form of long term care insurance protection according to AALTCI. “We have a long way to go and much to do,” Slome concludes. “You have to start somewhere.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance Price Advantage For Women May Change

The cost for long term care insurance, important protection that is currently owned by millions of Americans, is the same for a single woman as it is for a single man.

“Insurance is protection against risks and those who face greater risks of claims typically pay more for coverage,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a national trade organization. “We understand that car drivers with multiple accidents pay more for insurance than someone with an accident-free driving record.”

Speaking to a female insurance professionals yesterday, Slome urged the agents to speak to their female clients about the importance of long term care planning. “Women today are living longer lives and may will live well into their 80s, 90s and even past 100,” Slome explains. “When you live a long life, the likelihood of needing long term care is exponentially increased and yet so many women have no plan at all for dealing with this matter.”

Slome, who is author of the Women’s Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance, noted that women who own long term care insurance protection comprise about two thirds of newly opened claims in 2011. “The largest percentage of long term care insurance claims paid to women is for care in a home setting,” Slome adds. “People still associate long term care insurance with nursing home care and while it does cover that, the majority of benefits paid for home care or care in an assisted living community.”

The long term care insurance expert pointed out that women still enjoy a significant pricing advantage when purchasing long-term care insurance. “Single women pay the same for equal coverage as single men do, despite the fact that their utilization is so much greater,” Slome shared with the female insurance professionals. “But this is likely to change in the years ahead so now is the right time to urge planning.”