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Insurance may be included in long-term care planning choices

It seems that a Texas resident, or someone else for that matter, who is interested in the most solid protection to cover the eventuality of total disability or mental incompetency would want to look into long-term care insurance. Such insurance would provide coverage for in-home care services and for outside placement if necessary. By engaging in long-term care planning leading to the purchase of insurance, the elder person and his or her family members would be relieved of the stress and worry of what may possibly happen many years down the line. 

The simple logic of obtaining long-term care insurance is overshadowed, however, by a number of obstacles. One of the problems is that the weighty risk factors, including skyrocketing medical care costs, make the premiums comparatively high and even unaffordable for many boomers who would be interested. Furthermore, it has been found that many approaching retirement age have given up on the economic "luxury" of long-term care insurance in favor of enjoying more concrete retirement activities in the here and now.

Thus, the number of policies being sold seems to have hit a logjam plateau where the widespread use of such insurance does not appear to be developing. Some industry observers, however, believe that there is still a future for this type of insurance protection. They point out that the companies still in the market have survived attrition, so that they are well-seasoned to compete in this area of coverage.

It's also true that there is less competition due to departure of companies that could not stand the heat and who got out of the kitchen. This may give some remaining companies the flexibility to at least experiment with more realistic pricing options and more attractive promotions to consumers interested in long-term care planning options. Furthermore, those in the medical provider industry in Texas and elsewhere have experienced earlier and better payments with private long-term care insurers than with the government programs. 

Source: lifehealthpro.com, "2015 long-term care planning outlook: Washington", Allison Bell, Dec. 30, 2014

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