Saturday, June 27, 2009

NY Times offers major story on long term care insurance

Here we go again, with more discussion of long term care insurance. First, it’s not for everybody, but it is certainly advisable for working-age people who will have assets and who don’t want to “burden” their kids with caring for them.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a basic link called “long term care” here.

NAIC, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, has a fact sheet here.

This group is said to offer a booklet on long term care, although I could not find the link to order it.

But the most important story appeared on p B6, in a feature called “Personal Business” and “Patient Money”, with an article “Getting Insurance for One’s Frail Years” by Walecia Konrad, who herself has a 92-year-old father. This ties into another internal blog at the paper.

Konrad covers this limitations on what Medicare and Medicaid pay for, and warns that insurance companies underestimated the claims experience they would have, partly because of consumer behavior and partly due to demographics. She gives many tips. Make sure that all kinds of custodial care are covered, and make sure that the triggering event (often two or more kinds of functional disability) is covered. Make sure that Alzheimer’s and various dementias are covered: unbelievably, some policies try not to cover them. Don’t ask for lifetime benefits, and consider a front-loaded policy where you pay while you are still working. Also consider policies that will make monthly cash payouts.

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