Since the pandemic began, 80% of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota have happened in care facilities. Many patients would not have had long term care insurance, thus having no choice but to be in a state-run facility.
LTC insurance is primarily used to keep people safe in their own homes, with the private care services, home improvements and the funds needed to choose how they are cared for. In-home care is an option that has been growing in popularity since even before the pandemic began, and with most seniors preferring to live at home versus a care facility, it is an option worth considering. Home health aides, house calls and in-person medical services can ensure your loved ones are given the care they need on a daily basis. Not only will your loved ones feel more comfortable at home, they will have less risk of contracting a sickness that could spread easily within close quarters.
The purpose of LTC is to provide families with care options while removing a portion of the financial burden they would have been responsible for. Long term care insurance gives families a choice of how and where their loved one receives their care.
Unforeseen illness is a real issue; no one sees themselves going into care, nor do they want to in most cases. Yet the need for facilities is growing, and in the case of Minnesota, the state is not able to create any more Medicaid beds, as all the new facilities being built are private pay.
Many of today’s plans are designed to provide part of the total cost, meaning clients have lower premiums and retain some financial responsibility. Your goal is to meet the personal and financial needs.
You need to be talking to younger clients about LTC planning.
As with any insurance, the younger and healthier a person is, the more affordable the solution. Whether life, health or LTC insurance, the older your client is, the riskier your policy is considered, meaning higher premiums and potentially trickier underwriting to get through. Once a person starts creeping closer to 55-60 years old, the risk of chronic illness diagnoses increases (HBP, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more). It is important to introduce the conversation long before they are likely to need insurance.
Getting a policy at age 50 compared to age 60 can save hundreds of dollars on premiums for a standard 3-year long term care policy. If your clients wait to apply for long term care, they are at a higher risk of being denied.
One last thing to consider: The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance predicts 68% of people who are 65 or older will require long term care. That is over two-thirds of all seniors in America.
Whether or not you are experienced with LTC products, ask your clients if they want to discuss LTC planning for themselves or a partner. For many, it is a sensible part of financial and future planning and a great service to offer.
You need to attend an eight-hour LTC training course to be able to sell LTC products. Our LTC team can coach or join you on any calls. Remember, LTC is a conversation and process that takes time, but is a great service to offer.
- Mutual of Omaha
- National Guardian Life (NGL)