Staggering costs of long-term care coupled with the high likeliness that we or a loved one will require services makes for a difficult financial dilemma.
In both my personal and professional life, I’ve seen too many people and their families affected by a lack of savings for LTC. Hindsight is only 20/20 if we leverage what we know to plan ahead; use the data out there to educate every one of your clients on the costs of long-term care and then help them plan with a plan that can pay for or mitigate those likely expenses.
Here are the basics of obtaining a long-term care policy to get you and your clients started. When it comes to helping your clients plan for the possibility of long-term care, the old adage “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” should serve as your mantra.
Who can and cannot obtain an LTC policy?
The time for your clients to consider and apply for a policy is while they are still healthy and eligible.
For that reason, it’s never too early to proactively educate your clients on LTC funding and make recommendations that work for their long-term goals. I see so many younger faces purchasing LTCI to protect their assets and their families should their health luck change in future. Work with all of your clients by educating them about long-term care, the likelihood they will eventually need it, and the best options for them to pay for those services.
You will have clients who aren’t eligible for an LTC policy.
Due to their high risk, people with a history of stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or who already require LTC are not candidates.
Increasingly, insurers are also turning away high-risk individuals with chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and diabetes.
A call to an LTCI product specialist can help clients determine if they are likely to be eligible. Work with these clients carefully so that you can earmark appropriate funds for that care elsewhere in their portfolios to protect them and their loved ones.
Understand policy differences.
Policies and insurers differ greatly from one another as do clients and their respective needs.
The mandatory LTCI Shopper’s Guides, which licenses sellers of LTCI are required to give to consumers by law, are a terrific resource for you and your clients. They provide unbiased information that can help best determine their needs. Because there are various factors to consider when deciding on LTCI coverage from personal risk (e.g. family and health history) to financial considerations, I encourage every advisor to work closely with their clients and bring in LTCI wholesalers and specialists to provide further insight during the education and application process.
Determine the right amount of coverage.