Long-Term Care Insurance: Why Is It Necessary & Where Should I Go?
Marcy McWethy, Pearl Insurance
For more information about Long-Term Care Insurance offered by Pearl Insurance through Phi Delta Epsilonís Member Insurance Program, please call 800.616.8759.

Many people are confused about whether or not to enroll in an insurance plan covering long-term care. How do we know if we’ll need it? What if we feel like we have adequately planned for healthcare? As you’ll see, it’s difficult to prepare for the possibility of long-term care without the help of Long-Term Care Insurance, and there are many benefits to enrolling, especially for Phi Delta Epsilon members.

Who Needs Long-Term Care Insurance?
Some of us believe that because we maintain a healthy lifestyle, money invested in a Long-Term Care Insurance plan may simply go to waste. But it’s impossible to know for sure if an illness or accident will necessitate extended care, and the longer a person lives, the likelihood of needing long-term treatment increases significantly. Subject to state availability, there are now options available for getting refunds of unused premiums, so money put into a Long-Term Care Insurance plan may not be “thrown away.”

Many rely on the hope that our spouses or children will take care of us if necessary, but are you certain your family will be available if you need round-the-clock treatment? If you’re enrolled in a quality Long-Term Care Insurance plan, the emotional and financial toll on your family members will be significantly lower.

Another reason people don’t see the critical need for Long-Term Care coverage is because they have a substantial amount in savings if the need for long-term care arises. Not only is it hard to predict how financially stable you’ll remain in the event you require long-term care, but the U.S. government recently predicted the cost of care will double every 15 years. The annual cost for many nursing homes today exceeds $100,000. Are you prepared to deplete your entire estate in a matter of years? A Long-Term Care Insurance policy will either pay up front or quickly reimburse you for extended care expenses, leaving your savings intact for other purposes.

And speaking of the government, don’t take for granted that you’ll qualify for benefits. Because of regulations preventing people from impoverishing themselves to qualify for Medicaid, you won’t be able to transfer your assets just to be eligible for government benefits. And even if you are able to qualify, many nursing homes with Medicaid residents are under-funded and understaffed. With Long-Term Care Insurance in place, you’ll have a resource for finding quality care and developing a plan.

The older you get, the harder and more expensive it will be to purchase a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, especially over the age of 65. It’s also more difficult to qualify for Long-Term Care Insurance once your health deteriorates. So, the younger and healthier you are when you sign up for Long-Term Care Insurance, the less expensive the premium will be. It’s essential you begin planning now to ensure you’ll receive the highest standard of long-term care if and when you need it.

Go It Alone or Through an Association?
So now that you’ve recognized the significant need for long-term care planning, are you aware of the benefits involved with buying Long-Term Care Insurance through your association membership?

As a result of significant changes in the insurance industry in the last few decades, organizations like PhiDE are able to offer quality insurance benefits to their members with major advantages. According to Rick Leonard, President of Long Term Care Resources (LTCR), a partner of Pearl Insurance, one way to sort through the risks of long-term care and ensure you’re protecting yourself with a company that’s committed to meeting its obligations is to look for an association endorsement of a long-term care program.

LTCR is the national leader in marketing long-term care insurance through affinity groups, with over 100 association clients including alumni, professional, and fraternal organizations. Selected based on their expertise and reputation for developing, implementing, and managing quality affinity insurance programs, Pearl Insurance offers value-added long-term care coverage for PhiDE members through LTCR.

As Leonard explains, associations are here to serve their members, and they will do the work for you in choosing the right Long-Term Care Insurance Program. PhiDE also made certain the long-term care coverage they’re endorsing offers value—in discounts, service, and product distinctions.

So in answer to the question, “Can’t I get long-term care insurance on my own?” the answer is, “Probably, but there is power in numbers.” Pearl Insurance researched beneficial long-term care insurance programs for PhiDE members and ultimately chose LTCR for its special discounted rates, multiple choices of plans, and excellent customer service. “We work to ensure our association partners get the best long-term care products from carriers who are committed at time of sale and time of claim,” says Leonard. Pearl even offers policy options that help you avoid paying for coverage you never need by getting a full refund of your premiums (subject to state availability).

The Long-Term Care program offered by Pearl Insurance was developed by leveraging the buying power of PhiDE to provide special discounts that you cannot obtain on your own. These discounts can save you hundreds of dollars per year and thousands over the life of a policy.

Because of the crucial nature of Long-Term Care Insurance, you should get all the facts available on this product and its benefits. Knowledge is your best defense in the fight against the high cost of long-term care and in determining if Long-Term Care Insurance is right for you. To learn more, call 800.616.8759 to request your free, no obligation, 56-page “A Shopper’s Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance,” developed by The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).