Q. At our agency we have found a major challenge is helping producers effectively communicate the need. How can I make the occasional LTC producers feel more comfortable mentioning this product to prospects and clients?

A. I am fortunate to be a member of an executive study group composed of people who believe in the importance of LTC insurance as much as I do. In one of our meetings, we discussed this problem. We all know that cost is a major objection, but until people understand the need, it doesn’t matter how much the policy costs – they are not going to buy.

Our solution: we developed what we called “The 10 Truths,” offering a succinct way to help agents better educate their clients and prospects about the need for this product. To make it easier to recall, they are divided into three main subject areas, and for some of them, I have provided additional talking points.

LTCI supports the family

1. LTC is about your family – not you. It affects families, not just individuals.

This protection provides the dollars so your family can get help for you – preferably at home. LTC insurance does not replace what families do. Instead, it builds on the family support and allows them to provide the care better and longer.

2. LTCI provides peace of mind to those who need long term care and to their families.

3. LTCI is a gift to your children – these funds enable them to care for an aging parent without overwhelming their lives.

The real question is not who will take care of you, but rather what impact providing that care will have on your family and finances. Children often want to care for their parents, but many will find the job beyond their capabilities. How will your planning – or lack thereof – affect your family?

4. LTCI allows you to leave a legacy by protecting your children’s inheritance.

LTCI can enhance your retirement plans

5. Long term care is expensive, so paying for it on your own out of income or assets poses a serious threat to your retirement and financial plans.

LTCI can help protect your retirement plans and assets. It’s important that those dollars be preserved so your family can have the type of lifestyle for which you have planned.

6. Get over your denial that this will never happen to me. Please talk to your families and have a plan.

The probability of needing LTC is very high. We are now living a long time, increasing the probability of needing care. When your health changes, how do you plan to pay for the cost of care? Without this protection, you risk the emotional and financial well-being of your family. This may be the largest financial risk Americans face.

7. It’s better to create a plan 10 years too soon than one day too late. And even more significant, the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the less you will pay over the life of the policy.

8. Medicaid reform is here to stay.

The message from both federal and state governments is very clear – if you have assets to protect, depending on government welfare programs is not a viable option.

9. LTC costs are high – both now and in the future.

Think about the cost of care in 20 to 30 years. At 5 percent interest, money doubles about every 15 years. That means the purchase of a LTC policy today solves a million-dollar LTCI problem in the future.

Don’t be overwhelmed by LTC

10. LTCI can improve quality of life through support programs that promote aging in place.

This policy can be considered as a nursing home avoidance policy. It gives you control, so you can age and receive care in the least restrictive environment possible.

To learn more about the risks and costs of long term care and the value of planning ahead, visit the new federal government website, www.longtermcare.gov.