You may be under the impression that you and your family are adequately protected should a serious illness occur or if long term healthcare services are required either at home or in a skilled nursing facility. You have Medicare Part A, B and D, and your post retirement state health benefits.
But, between professional exclusions, spending maximums, out-of-pocket co-pays, the need for premium-priced branded drugs, non-covered pre-existing condition clauses, it is highly unlikely that all or the majority of a major hospital bill will not put a big dent in your savings. A simple fall that requires a hip replacement and extended hospital stay due to complications, combined with intensive physical therapy can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Owning a long-term care insurance policy with a reputable, well-rated company is almost a necessity for anyone with assets they wish to protect or pass-on. While these policies can be expensive, particularly, if you wait until you are older, there are an increasing number of solutions that a knowledgeable financial professional can tailor to your situation.
For example, some new life insurance policies may contain or could have a long-term rider added. Believe it or not, the state and federal government are also trying to help. There are certain tax deferred vehicles where earned interest can be withdrawn via a 1035 exchange to pay premiums without incurring any tax liability. The fact is the possibility of a catastrophic illness affecting your family is greater than you may think, so simply reviewing LTC options may be worthwhile.
Most people have the false assumption that long-term care insurance is too expensive, and the odds of catastrophic illness are small. The US Government official Medicare handbook called Medicare and You estimates that at least 70% of the people over age 65 will need long-term care services at some point. So get the real facts, and then make an educated decision based on your particular situation. Over the years, we’ve found not everybody likes to gamble with their retirement assets. OP&F does offer a long-term care plan, but it might be wise to do some comparison shopping to ensure you have selected the most appropriate long-term care plan for your family. If you need some help evaluating long-term care providers, feel free to call one of our specialists at the WealthWatch Center.