Long Term Care Simplified

February 14, 2007

Baby boomers are becoming senior boomers. One out of four baby boomers is age 50 or older and retirement is looking you straight in the eye. According to Frank N. Darras, the nation's leading disability and long term care insurance lawyer; what is really coming fast, is a ton of information on a complicated subject.

Long Term Care is a big decision and to understand this relatively new product takes careful study and good planning.

"It is important to take your time in making the best choice for you and your family," says Darras, who has counseled clients on disability and long term care insurance issues for more than 20 years.

"Choose your LTC insurance carrier wisely and do plenty of research. If your insurance carrier goes out of business or under prices your coverage initially to gain market share then seeks multiple rate increases, you and yours will go without when you need the benefits most."

Darras advises that it is important to read and understand the language in your policy and know these terms:
- Skilled care - must be prescribed by a doctor, delivered by a registered nurse and available 24 hours a day - Intermediate care - refers to occasional nursing and rehabilitative care under the supervision of skilled medical personnel - Custodial care - involves assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, eating, toileting and dressing that can be provided by someone without formal medical skills and is usually provided in residential care facilities or to individuals in their own homes

"Narrow down your choice of policies to those that pay for all three categories including care given by non-professionals, such as family members or friends," Darras says. "These are the policies that give you the best return for your premium."

Understand there are two ways benefits are paid, either on an "indemnity" or "reimbursement" basis:
- With an indemnity policy, the insured is paid the daily or monthly benefit regardless of the actual charges incurred - A reimbursement policy will not pay more than the actual charge, regardless of the maximum daily benefit amount and any unused portion may be carried over from one period to the next

"Having competent, reliable advice and a sound second opinion will help ensure you and your family are protected. Your long term care decisions should prevent you from outliving your retirement nest egg and becoming a burden to those you love" says Darras.

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