Two virtually identical long term care insurance policies can have significantly different prices and benefits can vary as well notes the head of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
“Consumers mistakenly believe that all long term care insurance policies are pretty much the same; they are not,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the long term care insurance industry trade group. “Some policies will pay for care provided by a family member, others won’t. Some will pay for care if you retire outside of the United States while others will not.”
As an increasing number of baby boomers investigate long term care insurance, the Association director notes few have an idea of what questions to ask their insurance professional. “They focus on price and the ratings of the company both of which are important but they overlook more important factors like how and when will the policy provide benefits,” Slome notes.
“There are also newer options that make coverage attractive for those looking to limit their immediate costs,” Slome adds. “The Guaranteed Purchase Option is a way to reduce the cost, lock in your health insurability and some coverage but not every company offers this option and even the provisions can vary significantly,” Slome adds.
Slome was speaking to Midwest-area consumers sharing buying tips for seeking long term care insurance options. “The insurance professional you choose to work with is probably the most important decision you will make,” Slome advised. “A specialist will have helped at least 100 or more individuals with their long-term care insurance needs and probably spends 70 percent or more of their time focused on this field,” he noted. “Because costs, acceptable health conditions and policy provisions can vary so much today, you should ask how many insurance companies the insurance agent is appointed with.”
The long term care insurance expert suggested three questions to determine the expertise of the insurance professional you are working with. “Ask how many people they have protected with a long term care insurance policy, how many insurers they are appointed with and what percentage of their business is focused on long term care,” Slome advised.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance advocates for the importance of long term care planning and supports insurance professionals who market the complete range of planning products.