Anyone know anything about...

aceyOctober 8, 2007

A website called Long Term Care Insurance Planners? I am looking to educate myself, and do want to compare several plans, and perhaps buy a plan. They offer quotes. How can I found out if they are "legit"?

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search this forum and a string titled "long term care insurance". There's alot of good reading that was posted earlier this year. I don't know about the website you mentioned, though.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 9:35PM
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What do you mean "legit"? A broker is a broker - they'll just sell you insurance, it doesn't mean they're going to hold your hand if you have a claim.

Unfortunately, insurance is a field where you must educate yourself thoroughly and be aware that premiums on LTC are increasing rapidly. I expected this because people are living longer - the increase in mortality since 1957 is amazing - but this works adversely for such things as LTC and disability insurance.

For one thing, contact your local state dept. of insurance and find out which LTC insurers had the most complaints, per number of policies sold. You don't want just numbers, but the percentage of #s.

Register for the NYTimes website. They ran a recent series of articles on health issues, including LTC insurance. Their investigative reporting is outstanding (would that our local paper should be half so good!).

Read the article linked below - it's old, and I've linked it before - but it has the best "checklist" for determining what to look for in an LTC policy I've ever seen. Yes, it's long and not an easy read! But too many people have bought LTC insurance and found it was not what they thought, or even worse, the carrier was reluctant to pay. This is a sizable $$$ investment over time for anybody, and it will pay you to be certain you aren't wasting your money.

The major carriers in the LTC market are Met Life, Bankers Life, Genworth (formerly GE Assurance), Lincoln Benefit (part of the Allstate Group) and John Hancock. Bankers Life and its many subsidiaries have 3x the rate of complaints about non-payment of claims as some of the others, according to the NYTimes. I've never dealt with them, so don't know what they're like personally.

In my previous job at an independent CFP office, we preferred working with Met, Genworth, Lincoln Benefit and JH. They are not the cheapest, but my boss said he liked to recommend companies he thought were quality companies committed to the business. It's always a crapshoot, you never know what's going to happen (who would have thought 20 yrs ago that MONY would go belly-up?) but life is always going to have some risk - can't avoid it all, I'm afraid.

The two features that will cost you the most - they will double your premium, in fact - are home health services and compound inflation protection. However, my boss considered them essential and so do I. Home healthcare is the fastest growing segment of the health services market and NO government agency pays for it. If you want to stay in your home as long as possible, LTC insurance with a home healthcare rider is the only way practical (unless you have a very big retirement portfolio, in which case you don't need LTC insurance at all).

Compound inflation protection ensures your daily benefit amount increases each year to help offset inflation. Some policies use 3%, others use 5%. Do NOT get simple inflation protection, it's useless in light of the huge annual increases in medical expenses we've all seen in the last ten years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Consumer Law Education: understanding LTC policies

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:19AM
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Don't know anything about that site, but I found these links you might be able to use:

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 9:18PM
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Ask your local insurance man for a referral. I don't do business on the internet except to order something from a known company like HP or Logitec.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 10:35PM
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