IQ expert Dr. Marion Somers: A guide to shopping for long-term care insurance
Q: I’ve been shopping for long-term care insurance. How do I know which insurance company is right for me?
A: The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance can be a valuable companion on your long-term care insurance shopping “trip.” The association was established in 1998 to educate people about this type of protection and to support insurance and financial professionals who market it.
The association’s Long Term Care Insurance Consumer Information Center is the country’s most comprehensive resource regarding long-term care insurance. On the center’s website, you’ll find current information, including costs, tax deduction rules, and the names of long-term care insurance companies along with their ratings. You also can ask a long-term care insurance company to supply that sort of information.
|Dr. Marion Somers:
In the Long Term
|Dr. Marion Somers is the author of “Elder Care Made Easier: Doctor Marion’s 10 Steps to Help You Care for an Aging Loved One.”|
Estimates show that by 2030, one in five Americans will be a senior citizen. If you are a baby boomer, this includes you. Americans are living longer and healthier, thanks in part to a better diet, better medical care, and safer living and working environments. However, the side effects of aging and longevity may include reduced physical or mental ability.
Now is a good time to do your homework and think about what you and your family may need in terms of long-term care insurance to support your lifestyle:
1. Be as thorough in your homework as possible, so that when you contact a long-term care insurance agent, you’ll be able to articulate your needs clearly.
2. Read all you can and become an informed consumer so that you can get the most value for your money.
3. Ask the hard questions until you get honest answers.
It’s in your best interest to request cost comparisons of policies from different companies or from someone who sells long-term care insurance. No-cost, no-obligation quotes are available.
One thing you’ll want to ask is whether you qualify for this coverage based on your health. If you’re dealing with an insurance agent, ask whether he’s obtaining quotes from several long-term care insurance providers. Also, inquire about co-pays; costs can vary significantly from one company to another, so a comparison is well worth your time.
With long-term care insurance, you really are buying peace of mind — knowing you’ve protected yourself, your family and your property to the best of your ability.
Long-term care is an especially important issue for women. Women often are caregivers for their husbands or significant others, and women have longer life expectancies than men. Sometimes the cost of long-term care for a spouse or significant other depletes the family assets. Fewer men are in nursing centers than women because the men’s spouses are caring for them at home, often without sufficient assistance.
Dr. Marion Somers, Ph.D., has more than 40 years of experience as a geriatric care manager and caregiver, and as an author, speaker and teacher regarding elder care and other elder issues. With the senior generation living longer than ever before, Dr. Marion believes we are on the verge of an “elder care tsunami.” After decades of working directly with seniors and their caregivers, Dr. Marion launched a public effort to provide practical tools, solutions and advice to those struggling with caring for our aging population. She is the author of “Elder Care Made Easier: Doctor Marion’s 10 Steps to Help You Care for an Aging Loved One” and creator of two iPhone apps: Elder411 and Elder911.
For more information, visit www.drmarion.com.
If you have a long-term care insurance question for Dr. Marion Somers, please send it to email@example.com.