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Long-term care planning includes considering insurance plans

Long-term care insurance could be an extraordinary benefit to elderly persons who pride themselves on independent living and who do not want to burden their family members. This long-term care planning subject is an important one for older parents to discuss with their adult children. Despite the seeming importance of this insurance, however, the product has not been a big seller in Texas or elsewhere. Due to lack of information and other factors, only a relatively small percentage of elderly citizens have this kind of coverage.

Experts in the field therefore predict that the product will remain a niche item. Furthermore, instead of leveling off, the lack of marketing has caused premiums to get higher. Nonetheless, a family that discusses such vital issues of elderly planning should at least consider the subject. It can pay for the daily cost of homecare or nursing care, but may be perhaps most useful in allowing an autonomous parent to remain in his or her residence far longer than without the coverage.

Where the finances can be managed through family resources to purchase this kind of protection, it remains a good option in the family's long-term care planning arsenal. Notably, this kind of protection is not available in the insurance plans provided by most employers, and Medicare provides only minor benefits. However, it appears that the price of the coverage is prohibitive to many elderly persons who choose to keep the money available for enjoying their retirement years and having more ability to maneuver and travel.

There are hybrid products that can be purchased in Texas and other states that provide financial benefits in later life to the extent that the insurance is not needed or used for long-term care. Furthermore, a review of premium plans will reveal the maximum ages to purchase these programs. For example, purchasing at an earlier age will naturally incur a lower premium. As always, in addition to vital family discussions, it can be extremely helpful to review these long-term care planning issues with your financial planner or elder law attorney.

Source: Reuters, "Autonomy, Cost Are Key In Decisions On Long-term Care Insurance", Shereen Lehman, Oct. 24, 2014

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