How Do You Purchase the Right Long-Term Care Insurance Policy?

If you can afford the premiums, long-term care insurance (LTCI) is usually good investment in your future.  The right policy will pay for at-home care, medical equipment, nursing home care, and maybe even some of the monthly fees at an assisted living.  Actuarial tables demonstrate that in many cases, families that paid LTCI premiums over many years and then needed some increased care came out ahead as opposed to paying out of pocket for home care, nursing home care, etc. 

But how do you pick the right policy?  A December Wall Street Journal article described that Conseco, Inc. has shed its LTCI unit to a trust run by the state of Pennsylvania.  Observers suspect that this will not be the only company to give up its LTC customers.  

The best way to pick the right policy for you – and that may be very different from the right policy for your neighbor, sister, or best friend – is to work with a trustworthy financial advisor.  A good advisor should be able to generate quotes for you from several different companies and should walk you through the differences to help you make an informed decision.  While no one can predict the future, a good advisor should have a handle on which companies have strong holdings backing up their policies.  Your elder law attorney should have a relationship with one or more qualified advisors. 

And remember – financial advisors are paid by commission depending on which policy you ultimately buy.  Ask the advisor if he is willing to show you the commission statement associated with each of the quotes to make sure he is not steering you towards the one that benefits him the most, unless, of course, that happens to also be the policy that is best for you.