Did you know that about 70% of people over age 65 will require some type of long-term care? That's according to Maryglenn Boals, CLTC, LACP, President of MgBoals & Associates, LLC, a nationally recognized leader for her work in the field of senior care options. The reality, according to Boals, is that Medicare won't fully cover long-term care, so many people must pay for it out of their own pockets. But what if you can’t? Who will help pay for your daily care? During a conversation on the Help Choose Home podcast Boals explained how that is where long-term care insurance comes into play.
Long-Term Care Insurance
If you wish to age at home, long-term care insurance can help cover the costs associated with in-home care. According to Boals, many people start looking into long-term care insurance in their 50s, and that on average, the policy is not used until individuals are 82 years old. While only about 10% of the population has long-term care insurance, Boals sees it as an important facet of retirement and long-term planning. She recommends choosing a professional with a certification in long-term care, called a CLTC designation, when looking at long-term care insurance. Individuals with a CLTC understand the importance of a long-term care plan.
When Boals meets with clients to discuss and strategize long-term care goals, she helps lay out a plan that meets both their wishes and their needs long-term. For example, in looking at an individual's finances, she helps clients identify where spending will change if long-term care is needed. Rather than having a monthly line item in a personal budget for travel, that money could be utilized for in-home care when the time comes. By looking at shifting priorities, Boals helps clients see how home care is possible while still keeping other immediate and long-term goals in focus.
Exploring Care Options
Another option Boals explores with clients is a 1035 exchange where the cash value of a life insurance policy is rolled into a long-term care product. Because the money is rolled over, there are no tax implications, and yet a long-term care benefit is made possible thanks to already accumulated cash value.
And what if your parents need in-home care but you aren't sure they have a long-term care policy? In addition to speaking with your senior loved one's accountant, financial planner and/or lawyer, Boals recommends scouring check registers or other paperwork that might provide a clue.
With her own clients, Boals tries to head off the question about whether Mom and Dad have long-term care insurance by making sure that someone who might be making healthcare decisions or who might be managing care is in the room when a long-term care insurance policy is finalized. This can help the family by saving them from having to look for evidence of a policy, or not being able to use the policy to help with the immediate needs of a senior loved one. For example, Boals points out that with some long-term care insurance plans, there are benefits for home modifications, including grab bars and emergency buttons.
Choosing Home Care
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to people aging, planning and defining goals around long-term care is an important step in the aging process. Taking stock of individual goals and discussing them with family as plans are made provides important peace of mind.
Learn more about how long-term care insurance can help you age at home by listening to the full interview with Maryglenn Boals in the Help Choose Home podcast series. Search for "Help Choose Home" on iTunes or Google Play.
The Help Choose Home podcast series is a joint effort between the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), Axxess, and corecubed. The vision is to provide information and resources to help those with a care need learn more about healthcare at home. Podcasts are hosted by Merrily Orsini, president and CEO of corecubed, a firm dedicated exclusively to home care marketing.