November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month –
10 Tips to Help You Choose a Long Term-Care Insurance Agent
Your investment in a long-term care policy protects your assets and brings peace of mind to those who care for you. A long-term care plan is a physical, financial, and emotional plan, to include the care recipient and the caregivers.
When most of us hear the words “long-term care,” we think of nursing homes, Medicare, Medicaid…“old people.” You may be surprised to learn that long-term care has nothing to do with age. Yes, the possibility of needing long-term care increases with age, but needing long-term care can occur at any age due to an illness, surgery or accident
Long-Term Care Planning requires a specialized agent to provide the education and awareness to help you make an educated decision. The type of plan you choose depends on your health, age and circumstances.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” plan. Many factors affect the plan design and premium.
Choose your Long-Term Care Specialist carefully and be sure to ask:
- Are you properly trained and experienced, and do you stay up to date on the latest strategies regarding individual and group long-term care insurance?
- Have you had the proper training to work with the Virginia Long -Term Care Partnership Plans?
- Are you knowledgeable about Traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and how a long-term care plan can coordinate benefits?
- Have you filed and handled a long-term care claim?
- Will you provide a list of the insurance companies you represent and are appointed with and financial rating of each?
- Do you offer long-term care insurance to include life insurance and annuities with long-term care riders?
- How are you compensated?
- Will you appeal my application in the event of a decline? Are you willing to go the extra mile?
- Can you provide me with general tax incentives regarding long-term care insurance?
- Where I can learn more about you and your practice? (The agent should be able to provide several reputable references.)
What to Avoid
- An agent who represents just one company.
- Guarantees that your rate will never increase.
- High-pressure tactics, including scare tactics.
- An agent who cannot explain how the policy will respond at claim time and what the elimination period will cost you out of pocket.
- An agent who cannot explain what triggers a claim.
- An agent who cannot explain what is required to file a claim.
- An agent who cannot explain how the policy will work for you in your specific circumstances and your specific plan design.
- An agent who has never filed nor handled a claim.