Archives for: July 2006, 25
My husband has been reading articles about Long Term Care Insurance - insurance that pays for nursing homes, assisted living, and home care if people can no longer care for themselves. I was not interested. I am on the blood type diet, after all. I am hoping that by living a healthy lifestyle , I will avoid some of the conditions plague the elderly. A couple of weeks ago he told me that an insurance agent was coming over to talk to us. "OK", I said. "Boring", I thought.
In that first meeting I learned two things.
1. Once you need long term care, you cannot get the insurance. If you have any major health problems you will not be approved for the insurance. If you have ever had cancer, you can't get the insurance. The rate for my husband because he is on blood pressure medication is much higher than mine. Companies write very few policies for people over 70. In other words, you have to buy it when you are still young and healthy.
2. The cost for long term care is phenomenal. I live in Texas, and the average nursing home/assisted living cost is $150 per day. That is almost $55,000 per year. That can wipe out your savings pretty quickly. If you have no savings, there are welfare programs that cover nursing homes - but not the nice ones, and certainly not the ones that offer healthy food choices. Texas, by the way, is on the low end of the scale. The cost in most states is much higher.
We have talked to three agents and looked at three companies. Tonight we will be signing a policy that suits us. Here are some of things you may want to check out.
Â· Not all policies cover home care. That is important to me, because I am much more likely to get good Type O food if I am at home than if I am in a facility.
Â· Some companies offer a basic plan and a more expensive top line plan. One agent only showed us the top line plan. We saved a lot of money by going with a basic plan.
Â· You can mix and match time and amount within a plan. Because my husband is older than me, I will probably be able to care for him. So my policy has more years of coverage than his.
Â· Costs are going up. You have to pay extra for inflation protection. We thought that feature was worth the expense.
Â· Not all policies waive the premium if you are collecting benefits (especially for home care). You could still be paying even after you are eligible for benefits.
Â· My husband, the engineer, calculates it this way. The amount we will spend on this insurance in 30 years would cover long term care for less than two years.
I'm not selling insurance. I don't recommend one company over another. I'm writing this blog, because this information was all new to me. I hope that by eating right and exercising right now, that I will not face the more common diseases of aging. But I live in a fallen world, and unless I am run over by a truck, my body will eventually wear out. I have some strong opinions about how I want to be cared for when I can no longer care for myself. It was something I needed to think about.