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Old 01-27-2021, 05:34 PM   #41
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As to the hybrids "costing three times" what LTC alone would cost, I question the comparison, as such comparisons are often made by those who sell the LTC stand-alone policies.

I was aware of the extra underwriting costs tacked into having both a life product as well as an LTC product combined, but three big deciders that convinced me to go for the State Life hybrid product:

1) "One" policy would cover either of us and/or both of us. Very efficient cost-wise to find what we considered adequate likely needed LTC coverage for either or both of us.

2) And the clincher--If we "never" needed to use the LTC, all the premiums paid would not have been wasted, so to speak. Rather our kids would still get almost double our upfront premium back as life insurance benefit.

3) "Never" any annual premium increases! Guaranteed in the contract. Once we bought, we were locked in, whether we paid all upfront, or spread over years.

I could not find "any" stand alone LTC policies that provided the efficiency of covering "both" spouses in one policy. The costs of two policies of stand-alone LTC's never could measure up in my book to what we got in this hybrid "both spouses under one policy" solution. With the frosting, if never needed, the kids get nearly double the cost back as life insurance proceeds.

And they also offered an inflation rider at reasonable annual cost, with added benefit it could be dropped at any point if premiums became burdensome, but benefit level attained to that point are retained.

There was a lot of flexibility in "designing" our package to get what we thought as likely adequate needed coverage for the "pair" of us, inflation coverage, and ways of paying--either all upfront, part upfront, with riders on annual, or all upfront for riders and LTC on annual, or everything on annual premiums.

From time to time of course I have revisited our decision, and looked at current offerings of stand alone LTC's. I always run into the same obstacles with the stand-alone policies---probable annual unpredictable premium increases at some point. Inefficient pricing to get "both" spouses covered. And if never used, all the LTC premiums were "wasted".

I always have decided, again, we made the right choice, and have been extremely happy, and filled with peace of mind. And I know if I go like my wife did (die quickly at home happy in my own bed), our kids will get nearly double our upfront cost back as life insurance proceeds--so the hybrid was an efficient estate planning and asset transferring tool to boot. No premiums wasted.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:46 PM   #42
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Additional comments on hybrids vs stand-alone LTC policies----When we shopped we were 69 and 62 and retired. Many who are younger and working can get in on group LTC policies at relatively young ages and get quite inexpensive monthly premiums. If one has the foresight to do this, such group policies might be the way to go.

Even so, I know UNUM used to provide group policies where I worked. And I know co-workers who bought them have, since I retired, gone through three rounds of annual rate increases on those policies. And I believe UNUM has quit writing such group policies to boot. And UNUM has been sued by our state and I believe several others for claims paying practices among other things. So, even these group policies, while they may seem cheap at the time, they still come with down the road problems---all of which are avoided by the hybrids. My three cents worth.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:50 PM   #43
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We moved South of the Border for exactly this reason. We can hire full time nurses for a tenth of the cost in the US, stay in our home and enjoy the culture until we canít. Not for everyone but trust me that being surrounded by caring help in your own home is priceless...
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:13 PM   #44
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We moved South of the Border for exactly this reason. We can hire full time nurses for a tenth of the cost in the US, stay in our home and enjoy the culture until we canít. Not for everyone but trust me that being surrounded by caring help in your own home is priceless...
This was part of my thought process before dropping my LTC policy, since I plan to move to a country where inexpensive home care is much more available.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:23 PM   #45
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For those wanting more info on "hybrid" LTC/Life Insurance options from State Life, go here to a review: https://www.longtermcareinsurancepar...rance-benefits
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:09 PM   #46
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And more info here on State Life hybrid LTC/LifeInsurance policies: https://www.longtermcareinsurancepar...care-insurance
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:10 AM   #47
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Self insured. I've never understood buying insurance that the insurer can raise the price at will over the years. If I buy something I want a defined price and product. It seems you don't get either from some of the posts and articles I've read.
+1. The value proposition of LTC insurance has never been attractive to me so we self insure. Plan D would be to sell one of our two properties or a reverse mortgage but it's very unlikely that it would ever come to that.

That and some providers make it very difficult to collect claims... Jim Cramer had a devil of a time collecting on his parents policy as I recall.
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ltc insurance
Old 01-28-2021, 09:36 AM   #48
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ltc insurance

We have long term care insurance. We hedged our bets, capping the payout at $200 per day, but there is no time limit. (They donít sell the policy anymore). Premiums are about 2k per year (2 of us), which is not difficult for us.

I figure if one of us needs it, this extra cash will allow the other spouse to remain in our home and still have a decent cash flow.

Itís like fire and car insurance for us....I donít mind paying for something I hope not to use, but appreciate the security.
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:40 AM   #49
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That and some providers make it very difficult to collect claims... Jim Cramer had a devil of a time collecting on his parents policy as I recall.
I believe long-time contributor to this site, Nords, also had problems collecting on his father's policy. Some of the long-term members might be able to confirm this.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:00 AM   #50
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DW and I both have it, and have had it for quite a while. It is not just for old age. The policy is for any thing that would put a person in assisted care. Traffic accidents, etc. Like any insurance, we hope we don't need to use it. We don't have kids or close family, so the last one of us alive might get the most use out of their policy. or not. It's insurance, not a retirement plan.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:19 AM   #51
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I believe long-time contributor to this site, Nords, also had problems collecting on his father's policy. Some of the long-term members might be able to confirm this.
IIRC the recommendation from the LTCi agent over on bogleheads forums is to let the company you're using do the filing...e.g. if it's in-home care have the home care agency handle it since they've got the experience.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:30 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
That and some providers make it very difficult to collect claims... Jim Cramer had a devil of a time collecting on his parents policy as I recall.
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I believe long-time contributor to this site, Nords, also had problems collecting on his father's policy. Some of the long-term members might be able to confirm this.
Based on Nords problems and the issues Jim Cramer had, I did some research on how to handle LTCi claims if I (or my kids) had similar difficulties collecting on our policies.

1. Many LTC providers (nursing homes and home care companies) have experience in dealing with LTCi claims and know how to cut through the red tape. Work with them rather than attempting to file directly for LTCi benefits on your own.

2. If the care provider isn't experienced or helpful and you need assistance, there are long term care insurance claims specialists you can hire. They can help you by reviewing and understanding the policy and providing help in filing initial claims. That help getting started may be enough to enable you to manage going forward. If not, or if you simply don't want to deal with claims, they can take over the entire claims filing process - for a fee, of course.

Here are a couple of resources and there are many others:

Family Solutions For Care
Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:00 PM   #53
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DH and I are self funding long term care costs for 2 reasons. First is my 90 year old mother's experience. She took out a LTC policy in her 50s. It was inexpensive at that time but over the years the price has gone up up up. It is way too expensive now but she has opted to keep it and take less benefits. I figured up how much she has paid for the policy and what the max is she could get out of it--she would have been much better off just putting the money in a savings account, she could never get her money's worth at this point.

The second reason we are not buying LTC insurance is that we are planning to move into a very nice Continuing Care Retirement Community that does not take LTC insurance. You pay a fee up front and a month payment that does not increase even if you have to go into skilled nursing or memory care.
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:18 PM   #54
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DH and I are self funding long term care costs for 2 reasons. First is my 90 year old mother's experience. She took out a LTC policy in her 50s. It was inexpensive at that time but over the years the price has gone up up up. It is way too expensive now but she has opted to keep it and take less benefits. I figured up how much she has paid for the policy and what the max is she could get out of it--she would have been much better off just putting the money in a savings account, she could never get her money's worth at this point.
Wouldn't the same be true in general for almost any type of insurance? I know I would be far better off had I saved all my homeowner's and auto insurance premiums in a savings account rather than bought insurance with them. But I purchased them to offset the risk of loss of my house or car - which thankfully hasn't happened (at least not yet!).
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:36 PM   #55
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I'm 77, purchased LTC 18 years ago. Was paying less than $100mo. for a $120 day benefit with has no time limit. It just went up 20% but I think I'll keep it because of my age. I do not regret the purchase. It provides some peace of mind for my wife. However, with today's low interest rates, I suspect the cost/benefit ratio has grown worse.
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:02 PM   #56
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Wouldn't the same be true in general for almost any type of insurance? I know I would be far better off had I saved all my homeowner's and auto insurance premiums in a savings account rather than bought insurance with them. But I purchased them to offset the risk of loss of my house or car - which thankfully hasn't happened (at least not yet!).
No I don't think the comparison of LTC to an auto or homeowners policy is a good one. I have never heard of an auto or homeowners policy going up by 50% in one year and then 30% in the next year and then another 30% the next year like my mother's LTC policy--if it had you would surely shop around and get a cheaper homeowners or auto policy. But you can't shop around and get a cheaper LTC policy in your 80s because you are no longer insurable. If the cost of my auto or homeowners policy had gotten as expensive as my mother's long term care policy I would just drop the auto or homeowners policy and self insure. Maybe that is what my mother should have done--but she hated to drop her LTC policy when she was in her 80s.
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Old 01-28-2021, 05:53 PM   #57
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A string of comments here about the "typical" LTC policies, ruing the large premium increases, and ruing the "waste" of money paying premiums if LTC care never needed, indicates many or most readers are not aware of the "hybrid" LTC/LifeInsurance policies available such as from State Life. See more here: https://www.longtermcareinsurancepar...rance-benefits

This type of solution to LTC coverage:
guarantees never any premium increase
guarantees a death benefit to heirs if LTC never used, so premiums were not
"wasted".
can also cover both spouses under one policy, so provides more efficiency.

I'd suggest people who worry about premium increases over the years (which should be any buyer of LTC insurance), and people who don't want to "waste" their premiums if they never need the LTC care, look into the "hybrid" solution.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:00 PM   #58
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The link to State Life Hybrid LTC/Life policies above happens to focus on their particular option offering "unlimited term" coverage. But one can also get policies from this firm with defined terms such as 4 years or other periods, and these are much more affordable.
So, if asking for quotes, I'd suggest don't just ask for the "unlimited term" policies. When we shopped in 2016, I considered the question of "just how long" would we likely need coverage, looked at available statistics on average lengths of stay, and played the odds--and we got a policy that would provide benefits for a certain number of months/years. Way more affordable than the "unlimited term" policies.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:17 PM   #59
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Yes. I have a small low cost policy that I got through a former employer. Benefit is $100/day, three year limit, premium $540 per year. I have it because I am single with very few options for someone to care for me. I look at LTC insurance like I look at social security, it is as a floor of protection.
So it will pay $36,000 a year, is your annual retirement expenses budget more than that?
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Old 01-29-2021, 12:19 AM   #60
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Speaking of LTC: Why Is Florida the Worst State for Long-Term Care? (Next Avenue)

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"It's not a surprise," said Jeff Johnson, state director for AARP Florida, speaking of his state's cellar ranking in the Scorecard. "We've been in the bottom tier for as long as we've been doing Scorecards and I've been here twenty years."

Johnson said that Florida has an "overreliance on nursing homes," calling them "a first, and often only, option for long-term care."
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