Introduction: In today's episode of "The Amber Stitt Show," host Amber sits down with special guest Kelly Augspurger, CLTC®, CSA a long-term care insurance specialist, to delve into the topic of extended care and the importance of planning early. As we age, the need for assistance with daily activities or supervision may arise, and having a plan in place can make all the difference in maintaining control over our care options and easing the burden on family members.
Understanding Extended Care: Extended care, also known as long-term care (LTC), refers to the need for help with daily activities due to a cognitive impairment that lasts for more than 90 days. While some individuals may rely on family members for informal care, this can often lead to stress and burden. Planning for extended care ensures that professional care is available, relieving family members and providing comprehensive services, such as care coordination and respite care.
The Benefits of LTC Insurance: Long-term care insurance offers a range of benefits, including financial support for care, leverage, and the ability to transfer the risk to the insurance company. Kelly highlights that around 52% of LTC insurance policies are triggered, indicating the significant need for this type of coverage. Additionally, many policies come with additional benefits, such as home modifications and caregiver training, to enhance the quality of care received.
Key Considerations for LTC Insurance: When considering LTC insurance, it's essential to evaluate the amount of care needed, benefit periods, and potential costs. The amount of care required can vary greatly, from a few years to a lifetime, particularly for individuals with cognitive impairments like dementia. Inflation protection is also crucial due to the rising costs of care, which typically increase by 3-5% annually.
The Importance of Early Planning: Kelly emphasizes that the ideal time to start considering LTC insurance is typically in your 50s. By planning early, you have more options available and can potentially secure more affordable insurance rates. It allows you to stay in control of your care options and make well-informed decisions for both your family and finances.
Various LTC Insurance Options: The podcast also explores other LTC insurance options, such as traditional policies and hybrid policies. Traditional LTC insurance policies offer standalone coverage for extended care, while hybrid policies combine long-term care coverage with additional benefits like a death benefit or cash value. Working with an independent agent who specializes in LTC planning can provide access to multiple carriers, ensuring comprehensive planning tailored to your specific needs.
Having Conversations and Making Informed Choices: Amber and Kelly stress the importance of having conversations with loved ones about extended care plans. These conversations not only include parents and children but also any potential caregivers involved. Including family members in the decision-making process helps to ensure everyone's voices are heard and avoids potential issues surrounding financial matters. Kelly emphasizes the need to review care plans diligently and be aware of any additional charges from home care agencies or facilities. She suggests asking about the possibility of an assignment of benefits, which allows home care agencies or facilities to handle reimbursement directly, simplifying the process for the insured.
Conclusion: Planning for extended care is not something to be overlooked or put off until later in life. By taking action early, you can stay in control of your care options, relieve burden on loved ones, and make informed choices for your family's well-being. Whether it's through long-term care insurance or other options, having a plan in place ensures that you receive quality care and maintain financial stability during challenging times.
Remember, it's never too early to start planning. As Amber and Kelly stress throughout the episode, proactive planning and open conversations about extended care can make a significant difference in your future. So, take that first step today and secure your peace of mind for tomorrow.
[00:02:14] Long-term care insurance specialist helping plan for care. [00:06:01] Active planning reduces stress and offers choices. [00:07:28] Prepare, be strategic, support, long-lasting health. [00:11:52] 52% of people may trigger LTC policy. [00:16:27] Carriers offer various benefit periods, including lifetime. Clients with cognitive issues prefer lifetime coverage. [00:19:57] Women claim long-term care insurance more often and for longer periods, resulting in higher rates and insurance premiums for them. [00:23:21] Minimize fear, help people go, enjoy life. [00:25:47] Typical coverage cost is $2,000-$15,000 per month, benefit period varies. Choose based on family history and care cost. [00:27:02] Inflation protection is crucial for younger people. [00:32:44] Skilled care is professional medical care. [00:34:46] Assisted living provides limited hands-on care. [00:38:15] Reimbursement for care costs versus upfront payments. [00:42:10] Policy allows quality care; who funds it? [00:45:46] Planning for loved ones and yourself. [00:47:03] More medications, chronic issues as we age. [00:49:53] Typical clients retire in their 50s. Options include traditional long-term care insurance or hybrid policies. [00:52:50] Kelly thanks for helping, overwhelmed but informed.
To learn more about Kelly and her practice, you can contact her at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and on her website www.SteadfastAgents.com.
She also has a podcast called Steadfast Care Planning and you can listen to her here: https://steadfastcareplanning.buzzsprout.com/