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Author: LTCiPro 10+ Year Anniversary! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19027  
Subject: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/25/2003 6:18 PM
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Any of you retired Fools concerned about Long Term Care and the issues of Long Term Care Insurance? I'd be happy to help spread a new discussion topic if you desire. Simply begin asking questions or making comments under this post and we'll see what happens. Hope it works. LTCi is my profession!
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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8365 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/25/2003 6:37 PM
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I'm looking at it right now and haven't decided if I truly need it. I would have plenty of $$$ for my own care. I did the chart that was in the Dec. issue of Smart Money magazine and it came out that I didn't need it. However, it is money that I inherited from my Mom & Dad and I would like to see that some (most) of it would be available to my two kids and/or three grandchildren. One of my kids (the mother of my grandchildren) really won't need it. In fact my will is written that she can disclaim any inheritance if she wants, but we never know what the future holds.

So, I'm 69 and should make a decision this year before I turn 70.

The other issue is whether at my age I should get inflation coverage or just buy a bit higher $$$ coverage. An AARP article said if you were 70, not to get it, the Smart Money article said if you were 75, don't get it.

The policy I'm looking at has either 4 yr, 6 yr, or lifetime coverage to choose from. I really don't think I want the lifetime and I'm looking at $100,000 or $150,000 coverage.

The main reason I'm thinking of getting it is for the home healthcare or assisted living coverage which is included. I think having that care can extend the quality of life by quite a bit.

My husband is uninsurable because of his medical problems although he is healthy right now. He has diabetes and has had quadruple bypass. If I outlive him, I will receive his full pension and then also his SS benefits.

Is there anything else I should consider? I've talked with two agents.

Carol

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Author: pmarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8366 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/25/2003 7:42 PM
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The main reason I'm thinking of getting it is for the home healthcare or assisted living coverage which is included.

Just as a point of reference, my parents required 24/7 in-home care for about 2 years before dying 11 months apart, at 89 and 90. The cost was $13 per hour, but the good news was that the help was available. The bad news was that it ate up most of their savings.

However, that's what the money was there for. I'd urge you to think primarily about what you're going to need, not about leaving an inheritance. I have taken great comfort in the fact that my parents were able to stay in their home to the end. Beats the heck out of money in the bank, which doesn't buy you a lot of solace.

Phil

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8367 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/25/2003 10:41 PM
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As an alternate of LTC insurance, we are thinking of moving to a local retirement resort that has a flat rate for care, including nursing care. This place has been around for many years, enjoys an excellent reputation, and is located on the beautiful grounds of what was once a grand estate. It's just up the road from where we live now, and still within easy walking distance of the beach.

Entrance fee for a large two-bedroom apartment is about $400,000, with a monthly fee for two of about $4,000 that includes everything. The waiting list is three to five years, especially long for the larger apartments and cottages. We hope to get on the waiting list in a year or so, looking ten years out.

One caveat: You must be healthy when you enter and pass a physical exam by their physician.

An aside: Some of the residents own homes elsewhere, and use the place as a pied-a-terre in a beautiful location with ideal weather, a refuge from the harsh winters and summers of the mid-west or east coast.

db

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8368 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/25/2003 10:49 PM
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I'd urge you to think primarily about what you're going to need, not about leaving an inheritance. I have taken great comfort in the fact that my parents were able to stay in their home to the end.

If we all knew what we were going to need, it would sure help our planning a lot!

What I'm thinking is that I can easily afford to pay for the insurance and I'm not thinking of buying at a level that would pay for the entire cost of extended care, but would supplement what I already have available to spend.

There was an article in our paper a couple of weeks ago which said if you have less than $2M (I think that was the amount), LTC insurance should be considered because of the way costs are going up.

My mom bought some when she was about 80 and I was horrified. I think because she had my dad in a nursing home for about 18 mos. it scared her a bit. When she needed it, we went the home care route for as long as possible (I lived 800 miles away), then I moved her to a nursing home and she didn't live long enough to get much of the benefits from the nursing home option. Her policies were not as good as what is offered today, the home care and nursing home were separate. She was 90 when she died and I figured she got out just a bit more than she paid in.

I guess I think about the inheritance because I know how much my mom and dad cared about my "kids" and vice versa and I'd like to know some of what has been handed down to me can be left to be passed on.

Carol

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8369 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/26/2003 12:30 AM
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I can get long term coverage through my late husband's company. I decided at age 66 to go ahead with it. You never know what life has in store for you. Three years ago I was surprised by a diagnosis of breast cancer. I opted for the Comprehensive coverage (includes in home care) at a $100 per day benefit with a 3 year total lifetime benefit. This costs me $1264 per year and every so many years you can chose to increase coverage for inflation. The amount I chose will only partially cover my costs should I need to use them. For the amount I pay, it is worth a little peace of mind. I chose the 3 year benefit because if I should need more I hope someone shoots me dead!

Birgit

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Author: LTCiPro 10+ Year Anniversary! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8370 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/26/2003 9:45 AM
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Carol, good thoughts. I wouldn't count your husband out as uninsurable unless you first have 3 different carriers look at his condition on their underwriting hotline. John Hancock is very liberal with Diabetic conditions and one of the top 3 carriers in the US today...Hancock, Met Life and GE Capital are my favorites currently for your age group. If allowed to submit an application, be sure you are working with an independent consulting broker/agent that is licensed with these three as a minimum. Have him apply, simultaneously, with at least 3 carriers, if allowed. Just being allowed to apply does not mean guaranteed coverage. Spread the risk by applying to several.

I would not wait for your own coverage. I have many high income/asset clients that buy purely for the benefit of their kids inheiritance. It also makes gifting more palitable kn owing you have the LTC expense risk covered. Also, wealthy people want the BEST of the BEST care when it's needed...don't go too lean on your daily benefit amounts. I would consider $210/day benefit amount (tax issues) and no inflation or Simple Inflation rider at most. That way, you front-end load your benefit to compensate for no inflation or low inflation riders.

Good luck,

Steve Eads, CLU
LTCiPro.com

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Author: LTCiPro 10+ Year Anniversary! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8371 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/26/2003 9:56 AM
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Brigit, good job locking down the coverage. Let me make one suggestion, though. You may be able to get far more comprehensive coverage in an individual policy, inlieu of a group plan...at the same or LESS cost, depending on your age now. Shop, shop, shop around with 3-5 top companies. You may actually be able to exrend your benefit period to 6 or more years and more comprehensive benefits to boot.

May take a bit of time but could be well worth the effort.

Good Luck,

Steve Eads, CLU
www.LTCiPro.com

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Author: LeoKam Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8374 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/26/2003 12:34 PM
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Carol, My wife and I signed up for LTC with John Hancock about 10 years ago. I have a heart condition and also am a diabetic. We were accepted without medical exams although my coverage in a nursing home is for a 6 year maximum because of the medical conditions. Also, my premiums are approx. $3000 higher than my wifes. I signed up for LTC because both of my parents ended up in a nusing home and I saw how fast the cost could esculate from year to year.

LK

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Author: rlbar One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8379 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/26/2003 4:54 PM
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If you live in NY State and are considering the purchase of long-term health care insurance, be sure to consult the following website:

http://www.nyspltc.org/

It is the "New York Partnership for Long Term Care" site. It gives you much valuable information regarding location and costs of nursing care facilities, and it identifies which insurance companies participate in the NY Partnership, etc.

rlbar

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8380 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/26/2003 9:43 PM
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I chose the 3 year benefit because if I should need more I hope someone shoots me dead!

LOL!! I like your thinking, Birgit! So what you're hoping is that you would use your 3 years in at home care or assisted living, and never get to the nursing home! Is Laurel Lake still going strong in Hudson?

It also makes gifting more palatable knowing you have the LTC expense risk covered

I hadn't thought of that angle and I do intend to do some gifting toward 529 plan, if nothing else.

John Hancock is the one I'm considering. The agent represents other companies, but she said she liked JH the best. I hadn't thought of applying to more than one. A friend of mine here went with Prudential and it was a little more expensive for what seemed to be the same coverage. Our State Farm agent got me thinking about it to start with, but theirs was quite a bit more expensive and I don't think they have been in the LTC coverage business all that long. I want a company with a good track record.

I would consider $210/day benefit amount (tax issues)

What tax issues? I don't know what you're referring to here. If it's about deducting the premium, that wouldn't apply in our case anyway.

I suppose I can ask about it for DH, but the agent said the bypass would not rule him out as much as the diabetes would plus he also has another medical condition. DH does not seem to want to discuss it or deal with the thought of "nursing home care" anyway. I do recognize that if he should need care it could drain our resources as to what I would then have available.

This thread has been very helpful!

Carol


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Author: FAEZ Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8381 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/27/2003 12:10 AM
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Simply begin asking questions or making comments under this post and we'll see what happens

I have a lot of questions about LTC and most of what I read just makes my head spin. I'd really like to know the trade-offs of the various coverages.

For example, I know it's cheaper if you start younger. Of course, then you pay in longer. Also, less coverage like $100 a day is cheaper than $200 a day. And inflation adjusted payouts cost more than non-inflation adjusted. Also, there are inflation adjustments at a compound rate and at a simple rate.

It would really be helpful to see a chart of the premiums charged. The left column would have the person's age. Next column would be $100 per day non-inflation adjusted, next, $100 per day with 4% simple inflation, etc., etc.

I know this is hard since rates vary by location, health, etc. But just a SAMPLE chart would at least give us some idea of what we're talking about.

Perhaps this is beyond the scope of this discussion board.

Just a thought.

Andy


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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8390 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 2/28/2003 12:00 AM
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It must have been ESP at work because the agent called me ths AM wondering if I had come to any decision yet. I told her we had been discussing it here a bit.

When I mentioned the idea of applying to several companies, she said that was a good idea and that she usually suggests doing that. She also stressed that it should be done at the same time to all of them. When you make an application, they ask if you have ever applied to another company. If you applied to one and then a little later to another, they might think you have been refused by the previous company.

I think the number of years coverage is one of the tougher decisions.

Carol

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Author: buffalogal100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8391 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 3/1/2003 1:51 PM
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Hello -

I have LTC ins through my place of employment. I am 55 and my hubby is 56. The motivator was that to have this type of insurance is a buffer against invading hard earned and hard saved capital for extended care.
We both had to consider each other and who would be left holding the financial baggage should one of us incur a lingering illness.
Compound that with the emotional toll that could be taken because of this is a double whammy. My slant is if you can afford to do this, do it and have some peace of mind. Mr Buffalo's family has a history of Alzheimer's. Mine, peripheral vascular disease - both male and female.
Mr Buffalo's parents were prepared for care because of their wisdom in anticipating this and getting insurance long ago. My FIL now has good care in a nursing home and my MIL is not worried about how to pay for it. She gets a check every month that covers expenses. My .02

B'gal

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Author: FlaBuckeye Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8392 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 3/4/2003 9:35 AM
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I purchased a policy from John Hancock two years ago. They were the most professional and knowledgeable group I talked with and there was NO pressure to sign.(Got it in N. Virginia)
Jim

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Author: msweet11 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8401 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 4/4/2003 12:53 PM
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Hi Folks;

I just joined the Fool's for good advice and sharing some of my experiences.

I am 53 and retired from my first career at 51. At the time I bought LTC and had the option to pay more per month for 10 years and then I'm done forever. i loved that and have 7 years to go on it.

I have to say that reading and signing that LTC form was very hard for me. Let's see - how and when am I going to die? Will I be sick for long? Hard questions to face.

But I gulped and went ahead and did it. It's a fairly minimal policy $100 a day for 3 years - adjusted for inflation by 5% per year. And since then I feel so comforted that I have that policy-- it feels like a warm blanket to me as I get older and see some aging happening. I am so glad my Sig Other and I have this for each other.

I also chose to add a rider that says that if I use it - say for injuries from a car accident or something-- it will go back to the original amount again after 180 days. Seemed like a good thing to get seeing how I am relatively young.

I am wondering what the LTC specialists think about that rider? Was it a good decision and one you recommend?
Thanks for any opinions-

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Author: LTCiPro 10+ Year Anniversary! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8402 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 4/7/2003 5:46 PM
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Msweet11, yes indeed it was a wise decision. That rider, if you recall was a very inexpensive addition to your total premium outlay. Anyone purchasing less than a Lifetime/Unlimited benefit period should always seriously consider the rider...it's called Restoration of Benefit!!! It's "cheap insurance" compared to the whole and very worthy.

LTCiPro.com

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8403 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 4/7/2003 10:16 PM
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Anyone purchasing less than a Lifetime/Unlimited benefit period should always seriously consider the rider...it's called Restoration of Benefit!!!

It has been part of the standard policy of the two companies I have looked at.....John Hancock and State Farm.

BTW, on Friday Clark Howard mentioned that he had investigated LTC insurance and had found only 4 companies offering it that rated A++ with another 4 just below them. You do want to choose a company with high ratings to make sure they'll still be in business when you need them which could be 30 years later!

http://clarkhoward.com/topics/LTC_list.html

Carol



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Author: jtmitch Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8404 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 4/8/2003 10:51 AM
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Is anyone familiar with/eligible for the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program?

http://www.opm.gov/insure/ltc/

I recently enrolled in the program, using the money I saved by refinancing my house to pay the premium. (I am considered part of the "Federal Family" because I am retired from the Navy.) I got 3 years coverage for me and 5 for my wife at $150/day, inflation adjusted. We eat the first 90 days of coverage. It was medically underwritten (since I am retired; I believe during the initial enrollment period those in active Federal service did not require medical underwriting.

I had done some comparison shopping and this seemed like a pretty decent deal. I have the premium deducted from my pension check every month. Since my mortgage payment was also coming from there, it has basically been a wash and I don't feel the pain.

I got 3 years for me since men tend to predecease their wives; figured I'd provide a little more coverage for my wife. We could afford a fair number of years of nursing home bills on our own, but I would prefer to try to preserve an estate for my kids. I am 58; she is 56.

jtmitch

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8405 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 4/8/2003 2:40 PM
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Is anyone familiar with/eligible for the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program?

I'm not familiar with that, but I believe the LTC premiums are deductible from income tax if you itemize deductions and if you have enough deductions to go over the % of income you have to meet to make those medical deductions.

We don't have enough of any deductions to itemize any more, much less have the medical amount. Not complaining, I guess that's a good thing. The house is paid off and our taxes are very low, so there's not much left to deduct. The standard deduction gives us more especially now that we're over 65.

Carol

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Author: LaEsperanza Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8441 of 19027
Subject: Re: Long Term Care Insurance Date: 5/15/2003 10:47 PM
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Andy -- Hear! Hear! Whenever a topic/product is as complicated as LTC is now, I assume it's still in transition and will some day settle down enough that one brand can be compared with another.

For example -- remember the early days of computers? My first attempt to learn how to use one was on a computer a friend had built for himself -- and it had all sorts of DOS instructions that completely drove me crazy -- especially "re-boot." About the time I "mastered" DOS, along came Windows! More recently, cell phone plans have been bad -- really hard to compare apples to apples. But LTC insurance might even be worse.

I really do think that, if a product or idea hangs around long enough, it trends toward simplicity (for the consumer, at least -- who knows how much more complicated Windows is way down under than good old DOS??). For example, The Motley Fool is simplifying the 401K math for me. Some. So LTC is going to get simpler.

But will it happen in my lifetime??? Please, somebody out there, find a way that I can compare apples to apples!!!!

Barb


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