Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Report Lauded By Long Term Care Insurance Industry Executive

The executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance cited a new report that called further attention to the sever economic strain America’s aging population will place on federal programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

According to the report by the National Research Council and funded by the U.S. Treasury, there are options that can help the nation avoid what others call a very grim reality.  “As a nation we need to act sooner rather than kicking the can further down the road,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the nation’s long term care insurance industry trade group.  “Waiting will only make the matter worse and the cure that much more severe, and yet we seem to be willing to bury our heads and avoid what expert after expert predicts.”

The report notes that the aging of the American population will pose continuing economic challenges for the country for decades to come.  According to the report, the ratio of adults aged 65 and over compared with people aged 20 to 64 will increase by 80 percent in the coming decades.

Experts explain that the shift is partly the result of increases in average life expectancy which has risen from 47 years in 1900 to 78 years today.  According to Slome, life expectancy continues to grow and is projected to be 84.5 years by the year 2050.

“America is rapidly becoming an aged nation without a plan for dealing with the needs of our people and their families,” Slome concurs.  “Declining birth rates among younger people means a smaller proportion of the population will be under 65.”

The report mandated by Congress notes that while some people have saved amply for retirement, between one-fifth and two-thirds of today's seniors have not saved enough, leaving them to rely heavily on Medicare and Social Security -- programs that, along with Medicaid, now account for about 40 percent of all federal spending.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security account for roughly 40 percent of all federal spending and 10 percent of the nation's gross domestic product according to the authors of the report.   The report outlines strategies including increasing the retirement age beyond the currently accepted age of 65 years.   A second strategy called for workers to increase their savings in order to have more resources when they retire.

“We’ve called on both Presidential candidates to address the long term care problem facing aging Americans,” Slome notes.  “We believe tax incentives are a way to get more people to pay attention and to plan.  We praise the authors of this report and Congress for requesting the study but it’s time to take action, talking will not fix this problem.”

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance was established in 1998 to advocate for the importance of planning for long term care and to support insurance and financial professionals who market solutions. To learn more about long term care insurance costs call the organization’s offices at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association’s website.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance Difficult To Get After Age 80

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services some 5.5 million Americans were age 85 or older in 2010 with the number expected to grow to 6.6 million in 2020.

“Americans are living long lives but few have prepared for the consequences that come with living into your 80s, 90s and even past age 100,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the industry trade group.  “When it comes to retirement planning, people get they can’t start preparing and saving for a comfortable retirement at age 60.  But, this is really the first generation to face the reality of living long lives and few have done any preparation for the consequences.”

The nation’s long term care insurance expert notes that after age 80 purchasing long term care insurance can be a daunting, almost impossible task.  “The major insurers have ceased offering coverage to those over age 80 because few people would agree to pay the premiums and even fewer could meet the health qualifications,” Slome explains.  “It is no different than trying to buy home owners insurance after your house has burned down.  You can’t get it.”

Several smaller insurers continue to offer long term care insurance policies to those over age 80.  “You can expect to pay $1,000 or more a month for coverage but considering you may be looking to get over $165,000 in benefits, that’s a considerable value,” Slome explains.  “But even those willing to pay this amount generally can not meet the health qualifications.”

“Long term care insurance is only available to those individuals who can health qualify,” Slome adds.  “This is done so to avoid having those who are in good health subsidizing rates for those who are in poorer health and are the ones most likely to begin claims sooner.”  Slome advises that the ‘sweet spot’ for looking into this protection is between ages 52 and 64.  “Do it before you qualify for Medicare and have access to preventative health screens that may uncover conditions which make it impossible for you to obtain long term care insurance or to pay higher premiums,” Slome concludes.

The organization maintains the nation’s most comprehensive website containing the latest data from Association conducted studies of buyers and claimants with long term care.  To learn more or to connect with one of the Association’s staff for long term care insurance costs, call the organization’s offices at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association’s website.