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Insurance may be a vital part of long-term care plan

Long-term care insurance may be more of a necessity than some people think. The statistics say that almost 75 percent of senior citizens in this country, including in Texas, will need some form of long-term care prior to death. The cost of  the insurance and the care itself are continuing upwards. However, there are a variety of products on the market that may make the choices easier for those wanting to devise a long-term care plan via partial or complete insurance funding.

Certainly one's assets, income, needs and projected life span are things to look at first in deciding how to handle the problem of long-term care, both at home and in an institution. The policies to cover later life care are becoming more attractive and offering options for people who do not want an expensive policy that may never pan out. For example, now there are life policies that will pay a part of the death benefit upon the covered person's need for in-home or institutional care. If the person never needs that care, the policy will pay the designated death benefit to the person's heirs.

It is an educational process for people to understand the need for such care, its benefits, terms and costs. These policies are jam-packed with different provisions for differing types of care, shifting payouts, exclusions and many other conditions and terms. It may help to look at prior family health history, whether nursing homes have been needed and the patterns associated with such factors. One's own health history may be revealing a tendency to need future care, or one's health may be so strong that less costly plans may suffice.

As usual, family discussions need to take place and strong  preferences need to be put on the table and incorporated into any resulting long-term care plan. If the elderly subject forbids nursing home institutionalization at any cost and wants in-home care, a plan can be devised around that basic tenet. Financial planning and products consistent with Texas law can be set up according to the general tenor of the person's wishes, taking into account the specific resources, financially or in man-hours, that will be contributed by immediate family.

Source: investopedia.com, "Helping Clients Choose Long-Term Care Insurance", Mark P. Cussen, March 18, 2015

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