New Strategies for Long-Term Care – Wall Street Journal – 11/23/13

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The Wall Street Journal

Weekend Investor – Family Value – November 23, 2013

New Strategies for Long-Term Care

Premiums on Policies Keep Climbing. Here’s What to Do About It.

By Kelly Greene

As long-term-care insurance becomes more expensive and harder to get, what are families who want it left to do?

What choices do families have now as they search for ways to make sure they can pay future long-term-care expenses? Here are some of the latest tactics.

Protect your assets. More than 30 states participate in a government-endorsed program called the Long-Term Care Partnership Program that generally allows people with long-term-care coverage to protect personal assets worth the same amount as their policy.

Consider “hybrid” coverage—but read the fine print. Many financial planners and insurance agents have started steering clients to new hybrid policies, essentially “permanent” life insurance with a rider providing long-term-care benefits.

Going through a divorce? Consider getting coverage now.

Do some research. As you try to determine how much coverage you need, be sure to tap the growing number of online data resources.

Comments November 23, 2013

Partnership Programs Differ by State.  Most states’ Partnership Programs are based on “dollar for dollar” asset protection – for each dollar of benefits paid, a dollar of assets are protected away from Medicaid.  Some states’ Partnership Programs, like New York, are based on “total” asset protection – an unlimited amount of assets are protected after the policy’s benefits are depleted.  Unlike gifts and trusts, Partnership Program policies are not limited by the traditional five-year “look-back” period.  Gifts and contributions to trusts during the five-year “look-back” period will generally disqualify you from Medicaid benefits.

Two Types of Hybrid Policies.  Not all hybrid policies (also know as linked benefits or combination life and long term care insurance policies) are the same.  An advertisement by one of the largest insurance companies offering hybrid policies states, “This rider is not long-term care (LTC) insurance and it is not intended to replace LTC.”  Most hybrid policies will not pay for your long term, even if your care is expected to last a year or two, since they only pay for “chronic illnesses”.  Some hybrid policies will pay for your for long term care, whether it is expected to last six months, six years, or the rest of your life.  We provide a comparison of the two types of hybrid policies here:

http://skloff.com/ltc-combination-hybrid-long-term-care-insurance-policies-ltcu-011513.htm

Since pricing can vary greatly between carriers, work with an independent insurance specialist that is contracted with numerous carriers and offers Partnership Program and hybrid policies. Let us research the market and design a long term care solution to meet your needs and budget at:

http://skloff.com/services-ltci.htm

Aaron Skloff, AIF, CFA, MBA
CEO – Skloff Financial Group

Aaron Skloff, Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), is the Chief Executive Officer of Skloff Financial Group, a Registered Investment Advisory firm. The firm specializes in financial planning and investment management services for high net worth individuals and benefits for small to middle sized companies.  He can be contacted at www.skloff.com or 908-464-3060.

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