I have not really looked at lumpsum--do all providers offer? Do you mind sharing which provider you used and how long of period you ended up with before payment started. *Any particular "watch-outs" beyond getting AAA rating on agency if go Lumpsum
Nwsteve, I went with Allianz. At the time they were about to make some changes to the LTC plan then existing (increasing prices and reducing benefits), and I remember getting in under the wire *before they discontinued the plan I bought. I purchased a plan with a 90 day elimination period, 5% compound inflation rider (a must, IMHO), and unlimited days. We're covered both in-home and in-facility. I recall that it's important to pay attention to what it takes to trigger coverage (how many ADLs must be impaired AND who determines whether the impairment is present, organic cognitive impairment coverage, etc.).
I determined the amount of coverage based on costs at that time. I called a facility I knew to be good and asked what they charged for various levels (from double-room minimum care up to private room maximum care).
Here are a few questions I posed (among many others) and the agent's responses. I did it via email so I'd have a written record:
Q: What would happen if one of us went to a nursing home for 14 days and then home again. Would we be required to start all over again and pay for another 90 days - or would that individual have only 76 days left to pay in their lifetime?
A: The waiver of premium is once in a lifetime, and it can be satisfied by either under the home health care benefit or the Nursing Home care benefit. You only have to pay for 90 days in your lifetime.
Q: What would happen if one or both of us paid for 90 days of home care and then entered a nursing home later? Are we required to pay for 90 days of in home care and then pay another 90 days of nursing home care?
A: No. If you paid for 90 days of eligible home health care you would not have to pay for 90 days of eligible Nursing Home care.
Q: Is coverage offered in every state? In other words, if we move to some other state, will we get the same coverage in that state's nursing homes?
A: Yes! It does not matter where you go to the LTC facility, as long as the facility meets the definition of an eligible facility.
Q: One of our biggest concerns is that the insurance company will go bankrupt, especially since we're considering a single premium. We like the looks of Allianz - it is huge and the ratings are pretty solid. But Enron was huge and solvent too. What happens to LTC customers who are covered by a policy underwritten by an insurance company that folds? Does the state step in and pay benefits? Do other companies pick up the pieces? What assurances are in place that we won't be left holding the bag if that were to happen?
A: The State does have a guarantee fund that would guarantee benefits up to $300,000 if the insolvency occurred while under claim. If insolvency occurred while not under claim there would be no guarantee that you could have coverage with another company. Allianz, financially is one of the best options for writing LTC. They have a trillion in assets and they are very diversified. What the industry has seen from LTC carriers who have gotten in financial trouble is they have either sold off the block of business to another carrier or another carrier has assumed the block, but there is no guarantee of that always happening. There would be some risk no matter what company you go with, and that is why you want to pick a financially solid company.
Another thing - I made sure my kids know we have LTC insurance and where the policy is located. I have a long "letter of instruction" (many pages) listing everything our kids would need to know should one or both of us die or become incapacitated. I update that annually and the kids know where that letter is. They understand that it's the key to everything.