Short Sightedness on Long Term Care Insurance

Recently I learned a friend’s life investments and savings that were meant to be enjoyed when she and her husband retired, were now almost depleted. 

Married for over 40 years they had acquired a very comfortable life style.  Homes in several locations as well as investments and savings added up to a wonderful retirement plan.  A few years ago her husband contracted a debilitating disease that required outside medical care, frequent hospitalization, and finally round-the-clock professional assistance at home.  The disease dragged out and chipped away at savings they both accumulated through their marriage.  Yes, they had health coverage, but it didn’t cover the duration of skilled care that he required.

Many prefer to believe they will be healthy and active throughout their lives.  Well, who in their right minds wants to be infirmed?  But illness does happen and sometimes it takes a long time to come back to one’s good health. That could require professional care which can be costly. 

Whether in a facility or at-home and depending on the seriousness of one’s illness,  extended nursing care can drain the funds that were intended for happier moments in life.  Long Term Care Insurance, much like home or automotive insurance, protects eventualities that “may” occur.  No one wants their house to burn down or for their cars to be totalled.  But such things can happen.  So you get insurance to cover these occurrences.  Well, Long Term Care Insurance protects savings. 

There are those who prefer to set aside savings for unexpected events by investing in the market, real estate, or the bank.  They might want to remember 2000 and 2008 when these investments imploded leaving a person financially vulnerable.  Additionally, a general misconception is that at age 65 long-term care will be covered by Medicare.  In actuality Medicare covers skilled care for only a short time.  So if an illness lasts longer than 100 days the individual is responsible thereafter for the entire cost of care at a nursing home or nursing care in one’s own home. 

There have been opposing views regarding this issue.  Much like other insurances, there are those who believe taking out insurance benefits the insurance companies and not individuals.  However, those who have a realistic outlook on the possibility of health problems are more financially and mentally secure when they are insured against such events.  They know their hard-earned money is safe plus they are covered for life’s unexpected turns. 

Long Term Care Insurer talks about her decision to buy policy.

So that being said, there was an interesting pro-and-con feature on this subject in the Wall Street Journal on May 14th, 2012.  You might want to check it out as it features experts’ opinions on the subject, each supporting their arguments.  Fox Business “Boomer” column also focused their report on pros and cons of Long Term Care Insurance. In addition, there are impartial organizations  such as Consumer Reports that provide more about the subject. You might also want to check out insurance companies such as New York Life Insurance, Prudential, Aetna, Mutual of Omaha who provide Long Term Care Insurance.