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Old 02-16-2013, 11:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ejman View Post
We have had a LTC policy with CALPERS since 1998 and have paid about $21K for a basic policy currently covering nursing home to $162/day, Residential Care facility to $81/day. It has a 5%/year inflation protection, a 90 day deductible and lifetime coverage. Premiums are currently $1,908/year for the two of us (Ages 64 and 62). There are about 150,000 members enrolled but enrollment has been closed for a few years now.

We just received a notice "You are receiving this notice because your policy provides lifetime benefits and built in inflation protection. Policies of this type are subject to the 2013 and 2014 five percent premium increase, as well as the 2015 premium increase of approximately 85 PERCENT".

To my way of thinking, the value of the LTC policy is precisely in the lifetime benefits and inflation protection part. I'm sure the premium will be considerably lower if we change the policy to say a 3 year benefit period but then what's the point? A 3 year benefit is $177k and according to Firecalc my portfolio could handle that.
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
If you look closely at the Length of Stay chart, the "success" rate at three years looks much closer to 90-95% than 60%. And if you need more than three years, you'll still have the funds in your portfolio you didn't have to use because of your LTC coverage. If you drop the coverage entirely and are fortunate (or should that be unfortunate) enough to survive longer than three years in a nursing home, will your portfolio cover a longer stay?
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Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
This is one reason why I have not purchased a long term care policy. I know of a number of people whose policy premium has gone up dramatically over the past three years. In other words, as they get nearer the point where they might have to use the insurance, they are being forced out of the policy through premium increases they cannot afford. Or, they are forced to take a reduced benefit to keep the premium reasonable. Either way, this does not sound very good to me.

Since most long term care situations don't last more than a few years, I think there are better ways of covering that cost - longevity insurance with a single premium, buying extra pension credits if possible, delaying SS until 70. I am sure there are other ways. All of these promise extra income to help pay for care, don't allow one to be forced out by large premium increases, and still pay benefits even if a person is perfectly healthy until the day they drop dead. Am I wrong about this?
This combination factors:
  • Unpredictable premiums
  • Statistically short stays
  • Desire for self control

has led us to not buy LTC and to self insure via our portfolio and some of the methods described above by Stanley. I use the Fido RIP tool, which has a good "what if" tab that includes self-funded LTC as a choice; it tells us we'd be OK for a 3 yr stay.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
For those of you who haven't seen it, there are a number of LTC discussions in the FAQ's: (FAQ archive): Long-term care (LTC) and LTC insurance
Thank you REWahoo, lots of good reading there.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:43 AM   #23
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The Long Term Care Policy available at the Hemlock Society remains affordable.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #24
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My parents bought a LTC policy years ago. My dad could have used it and gone into a nursing home. Instead we as a family decided to keep him at home as long as possible. The last 18 months of his life we got lots of help from Hospice Care which was covered by Medicare. Mom has had some problems but is not yet ready for full nursing home care. She has been in and is not out of an assisted care facility and is now at home with my brother and sainted sister in law providing assistance for her. My guess is that she will probably never go into a nursing home with the way my family thinks about such things. My very frail next door neighbor probably could have been admitted to a nursing home several years ago and started collecting on his LTC insurance. Instead his family with help from me have worked to keep him at home as long as possible. He has recently gone into an excellent assisted care facility and as yet has not collected on his LTC insurance. I took him to a medical appointment yesterday and seeing how he is declining I cannot imagine how he could live long enough to ever come out ahead on his LTC policy. These personal experiences and what I see in threads like this one have convinced me that LTC insurance is not a good idea...........except for the insurance companies.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #25
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The Long Term Care Policy available at the Hemlock Society remains affordable.
Is that the Smith & Wesson LTC policy?
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #26
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Is that the Smith & Wesson LTC policy?
That and the "flying off Empire State Building" policy are too messy, Hemlock sounded more civilized. I do not understand why there has been no real evolution in the thinking in term of how to control your last exit when everyone wants control of his/her life. I had seen horrible ordeals of relatives dying of cancers and the physical, emotional and financial hardship their ends cost their families. If I have a terminal illness and will spend the last days in severe pain and suffering, narcotized out and just have nursing home or hospice staff turns me over once a day at the cost of $1000 a day, I do wish there is a way to decide where, when and how I check out. I am glad that option is available in some enlighted states.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #27
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Because I rarely see this "home protection" discussed here, thought this article could be of interest to some.

Protecting Your House After You Move Into a Nursing Home | ElderLawAnswers

Note the "lein on home" paragraph.

Also this:
Quote:
But there are some circumstances under which the value of a house can be protected from Medicaid recovery. The state cannot recover if you and your spouse owned the home as tenants by the entireties or if the house is in your spouse's name and you have relinquished your interest. If the house is in an irrevocable trust, the state cannot recover from it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:17 PM   #28
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That and the "flying off Empire State Building" policy are too messy, Hemlock sounded more civilized. I do not understand why there has been no real evolution in the thinking in term of how to control your last exit when everyone wants control of his/her life. I had seen horrible ordeals of relatives dying of cancers and the physical, emotional and financial hardship their ends cost their families. If I have a terminal illness and will spend the last days in severe pain and suffering, narcotized out and just have nursing home or hospice staff turns me over once a day at the cost of $1000 a day, I do wish there is a way to decide where, when and how I check out.
Well, I live in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal and available. Death with Dignity Act | Death with Dignity Act
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:18 PM   #29
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I looked at the CalPERS press release. CalPERS Approves Long-Term Care Premium Increase

If it were me, I would switch to the 10-Year/Retained Inflation options. That seems like it would be plenty, without starting over with a new insurer.
http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/a...on-options.pdf
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:20 PM   #30
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Well, I live in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal and available. Death with Dignity Act | Death with Dignity Act
I know not everyone thinks or wants that, but that option really should be available if safeguard against abuse can be put in place.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #31
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I do wish there is a way to decide where, when and how I check out. I am glad that option is available in some enlighted states.
bondi688, I like your thinking. After prolonged end-of-life happenings with my parents, this has become a very important topic to me. I can only hope the enlightenment spreads.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #32
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I looked at the CalPERS press release. CalPERS Approves Long-Term Care Premium Increase

If it were me, I would switch to the 10-Year/Retained Inflation options. That seems like it would be plenty, without starting over with a new insurer.
http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/a...on-options.pdf
The devil is in the details. I haven't actually received the detailed proposal of how this would work yet.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:27 PM   #33
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I haven't purchased LTC insurance and it does worry me. I have set aside 107k outside my porfolio to over 14 months in a facility. Sad to think this way, but my "hope" is that the second person to go in never gets discharged so that the house pays the rest of the amount owed.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #34
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Well, I live in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal and available. Death with Dignity Act | Death with Dignity Act
We try not to remind people of that.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #35
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My parents bought a LTC policy years ago. My dad could have used it and gone into a nursing home. Instead we as a family decided to keep him at home as long as possible. The last 18 months of his life we got lots of help from Hospice Care which was covered by Medicare. Mom has had some problems but is not yet ready for full nursing home care. She has been in and is not out of an assisted care facility and is now at home with my brother and sainted sister in law providing assistance for her. My guess is that she will probably never go into a nursing home with the way my family thinks about such things. My very frail next door neighbor probably could have been admitted to a nursing home several years ago and started collecting on his LTC insurance. Instead his family with help from me have worked to keep him at home as long as possible. He has recently gone into an excellent assisted care facility and as yet has not collected on his LTC insurance. I took him to a medical appointment yesterday and seeing how he is declining I cannot imagine how he could live long enough to ever come out ahead on his LTC policy. These personal experiences and what I see in threads like this one have convinced me that LTC insurance is not a good idea...........except for the insurance companies.
+1......I totally agree. This is what family is supposed to be about. Help one another.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:41 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ejman

Yes it is. Thank you for the links. It's interesting that 8% of men and 13% of women stay longer than 3 years. And that tail end risk is what worries me and keeps me from unpluging so far (plus the $21 k already thrown down this rat hole)
Its funny how people can read the same statistics and come up with a different answer. I think of it as, I have a 92% chance of skating through financially pretty much unscathed. If I have a 92% success rate in the sports-book, I would bet 7 days a week! Of course I am looking for a reason not to buy this as I see insurance as a drain on my finances. If I took out every insurance policy available to protect myself, I would have nothing to protect. I certainly understand the $21k issue. That philosophy has also caused me to not sell some stocks back in the day when I should have! Everyone's situation is different though, and I am certainly understanding of that. Now if they would actually sell a truly meaningful policy, like a low cost plan that doesn't kick in until after a 3 year stay, I would listen.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:57 PM   #37
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my wife and i bought 4 year policies 10 years ago-150 per day/5 percent yearly inflation/now at about 220 per day. total price then(and now 2700 yearly).

she 57/me 52 at the time.

the calpers policies for unlimited lifetime benefits were probably underpriced.

although the stronger players in the market will probably remain the ones that underpriced policies are leaving the business.

as far as i can tell even the stronger players are dropping unlimited benefit and years policies.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #38
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although the stronger players in the market will probably remain the ones that underpriced policies are leaving the business.

as far as i can tell even the stronger players are dropping unlimited benefit and years policies.
Here is an article about the situation What's Killing The Long-Term Care Insurance Industry - Forbes

My DW has an individual LTC policy with CNA Insurance Companies purchased in 2002. In 2003, CNA quit selling individual policies, but kept the individual ones they already sold. So it is concerning that the premiums might go up extremely at some future time.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #39
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The devil is in the details. I haven't actually received the detailed proposal of how this would work yet.
That is true. However, from what I've been reading, you might have some big sticker shock if you want to change insurers, not only because you are older now than when you first purchased LTC, but new policies are more expensive anyway, because apparently nearly all the old policies were underpriced.

My group LTC plan through work changed underwriters several years ago, and the first thing they did was to raise the premiums, unless I took the option of reducing my plan and keep the premium the same. I reduced my plan slightly. The reason they used for increasing the premium or reducing coverage was that the original insurer had under priced the policies.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #40
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We have gone through 3 providers, and are currently under a trust-type arrangement with SHIP where they basically do the income and payout, but do not sell or provide much service.

SHIP - Welcome

This long list of providers who have exited the LTC business is just partial.

Long Term Care Rate History Inactive

Our original policy was written by Travelers, then transferred to Conseco, then transferred to the Pennsylvania trust company (SHIP). The original policy had some restrictions on premium increases, so our costs haven't gone up very much over the past two decdes.

(LTC... Pensions) same problem?
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