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Scott Thomas, ChFC®, CAP®, CKA®, RICP®

Eldercare Is an Event, Not a Place

If you think of eldercare as a place, then you’re mistaken. Instead, eldercare is an event that occurs.

Eldercare can occur at home or another’s home. It could take place through independent living or assisted living or skilled nursing.

So then the question remains: How can it be funded practically?

  • Majority self-pay from income and assets.

  • Some leverage with insurance and riders on life and annuity products.

  • Some depend on family members to provide.

  • Practically speaking, it’s often paid by a combination of ways.

What are family medical common conditions that would require a longer period of custodial care? Some examples include: arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, dementia and other cognitive issues.

Different Types of Long-Term Care Insurance

Traditional long-term care (LTC) insurance is like auto insurance. You pay for life and rates can go up as a group or “block of business.”  Most benefits only apply for a three- to five-year period or a max dollar limit.

Hybrid LTC is based on either Whole Life or Annuity base and overfunded upfront to act like a very large deductible. You draw first from your own money bucket, then from the insurance bucket or rider.  There’s less risk for the insurance carrier and, thus, costs less overall. If you don’t end up using it, then it can pass to heirs or charity.

Rates for hybrid products can be guaranteed for the entire period. This is different from the traditional policies, which are non-cancellable, but rates increase based on blocks of business.

Eldercare for War Veterans

One last area often that people often overlook is the Veterans Affairs program under the improved Pension Benefit, that is, Aid & Attendance for war period veterans and their surviving spouses. This includes veterans who have fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam. To qualify, veterans needed to serve 90 days with 1 day during the war period and couldn't have been dishonorably discharged. Benefits in 2020 range $14K to $27K a year to help pay for eldercare or custodial care. For a great resource on VA custodial benefits, go to www.LTC4Vets.org.

Do you have deeper questions about eldercare and how to set it up? I’d be happy to talk with you about it! Just send me an email at scott@stewardshipmatters.net.

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