Vail Daily: Prepare for the future with Long-term care insurance |

Vail Daily: Prepare for the future with Long-term care insurance

Life has a way of throwing us many challenges. Mitigating our exposure to unexpected challenges is why insurance companies exist.

With so many types of health and medical insurance available, who has the time or inclination to research them all? Medical insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and the plethora of insurance types can get very confusing and often overwhelming. Add to this Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and you’re likely to implode with too much information.

Today, medical professionals have many tools at their disposal that assist in treating disease, symptoms, trauma and even age-related degeneration. However, age itself and the effects it has on our bodies is not at this time curable. So, at the end of the day, we all will need to consider what tools we can put in place to assist us in living the life we choose as we age.

One tool some may want to learn more about is long-term care insurance. While many of us may be busy working to save for a home, our children’s education, health insurance, a car, a vacation, or just general financial planning for the future, few of us give much thought to the possible expense associated with long-term care needs that may be 30 to 50 years away.

Many people assume that Medicare will provide long-term care. Medicare provides limited benefits that are associated with brief rehabilitation stays in nursing facilities and limited medical-homecare visits. Medicare does not provide for the services that non-medical homecare provides. Services provided by non-medical homecare typically cover the basic activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, in addition to services that might result from a chronic disease, serious accident, sudden illness or cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Below are some points to understand about long-term care:

• LTC insurance can provide coverage in the home or in an alternative facility.

• LTC insurance gives you a choice of provider. You’re not limited to certain government approved facilities. In fact, some policies even allow a trained friend or family member to provide care.

• LTC can provide a benefit for life so you won’t run out of coverage. LTC insurance protects against catastrophic risk. Many of us will need more than five years of care. Care for life could cost millions. Depending upon the daily benefit amount you anticipate you may want, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $2,500 to $3,500 a year if you are over 55 years of age.

• The most distinct LTC risk is that rates exceed that of what you can afford. While insurer companies cannot raise rates on individuals, they may do so on a certain group of policyholders should they get state approval. It pays to do your research on providers.

• LTC insurance offers several tax advent ages. Premiums are includable as a medical expense on individual income tax returns. Company-paid LTC insurance can be deductible by the company and not taxable to the employee. Qualified LTC insurance benefits are tax-free.

• LTC insurance will allow you to maintain your independence without burdening your family.

This may be as good a time as any to spend some time learning about LTC. On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Alpine Area Agency on Aging & Eagle County Public Health will be holding an educational seminar. Attendees will learn about LTC and legal planning, Medicare benefits and veterans benefits.

This educational seminar will take place Nov. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CMC in Edwards, Room 250. Free lunch is included. Please RSVP to Erin for lunch at 970-468-0295 or

Don’t wait until the last minute to learn how you can prepare for a healthy retirement and your long-term care needs.

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. Contact him at or 970-328-5526.

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