Murray Gordon

Article Summary:

Many people don't think they need long term care insurance, but 50% of people over 50 need it at some point in their lives.

Long Term Care Insurance

Do you feel lucky? Does fortune smile on you?

If so, maybe you don't need to think about the future or plan for a rainy day. Maybe you and your employees don't need LTCI-long term care insurance, that is.

Although it's been around for more than 35 years, LTCI is perhaps the least understood product in the insurance family. Only 6% of Americans have it. Yet a full 50% of us will need long term care at some point over age 50.

What exactly is long term care? It's the assistance you may need if you become unable to care for yourself because of prolonged illness or disability. LTCI provides coverage for such care, whether received in a nursing home - or in your own home.

And as the American population ages, the need becomes more real. Today, there are an estimated 35 million Americans age 65 or over. By 2030, there will be 18 million Americans over the age of 80. Baby boomers are just beginning to understand the importance of long term care.

One of the myths of long term care is that Medicare will foot the bill. But Medicare pays just a very small percentage of nursing home care. And eligibility is very restrictive.

Like health insurance, LTCI offers tax advantages. Benefits are tax free and premiums are deductible. Group coverage is portable, which means employees can take their coverage with them if they leave the company. Employers may deduct the cost of premiums for employees-which may be why more employers are adding LTCI to their benefit portfolios.

In fact, Federal employees were offered LTCI for the first time last year. As the country's largest employer, the government sets the tone for the rest of industry.

The average stay in a long term care facility is 2½ years. The average national cost for nursing home care? It exceeds $4,600 a month. And perhaps most shockingly, 40% of LTCI beneficiaries are under age 65.

That's one reason why the best time to purchase LTCI insurance is in your late 40s or 50s. It's likely you're healthier, which makes you more insurable-and premiums lower. Premiums are spread out over your expected lifetime, so it's cheaper to buy at 40 than 70 - and you have protection in case you need it.

LTCI benefits range from $100-$300 a day. Policy duration may be two, three, four or five years, or of unlimited duration. Inflation protection is optional.

Murray Gordon is a nationally-recognized Long Term Care Insurance expert and founder of MAGA Ltd. Over the years, Murray has helped pioneer numerous LTCI enhancements, such as waiver of premium and group premium discounts. In addition to marketing LTCI, he is dedicated to educating the public on long term care issues. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The National Underwriter, and The Chicago Tribune. Nationally-known financial expert Terry Savage considers him "my advisor on long term care policies." For more information, visit www.magaltc.com.

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