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Long Term Care: Not If but When

Apr 03, 2017 02:40PM ● By Colleen Callahan

By Colleen Callahan

This month I have had experiences with three different clients related to long-term care and, more specifically, dementia claims. Only one person had completed preliminary planning.  Obtaining the correct type of care requires a great deal of time and energy from healthy family members. Unexpected time away from work and family causes stress for relatives who step in to help. They have to interview care agencies, evaluate assisted living facilities, attend doctor appointments, and try to convince the sick relative to accept recommended care.

I learned that insurance companies process these claims differently, and it is not easy to navigate. Those seeking information about care providers and levels of care are learning a new language and must make quick decisions, all while trying to understand details about the progression of the disease. Family members are forced to address unrealistic wishes of those with dementia. Some are faced with helping from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

I recently delivered a long-term care insurance policy to a new client. After assisting briefly with claims, the value of the product was made all the more apparent. Care is expensive, and people must plan for help at home or in a facility. Policies offer care coordination benefits, home modification, and monitoring services, in addition to helping with the cost of a caregiver. It is commonly understood now that it is not a matter of if a person will need care; it is a question of when. There has been stabilization in the pricing of long-term care insurance.  I suggest people take a careful look.  Ask your CPA. There might be a tax benefit, too; after all, it is tax season!

Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF. Colleen Callahan Insurance Services is located in Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925.363.5433 or [email protected]