In order to understand the need for Long Term Care (LTC)Insurance, it is helpful to understand what Long term care involves and how differently men and women might think about this subject.
Long Term Care is necessary when an individual needs assistance with two or more Activities of Daily Living (ADL). These activities include, but are not limited to, bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. Nursing/Rehabilitation Centers do offer this type of care, but some individuals would prefer to remain at home. Some LTC policies allows a person the benefit of being helped with such activities in the comfort of their own home or in a skilled nursing setting . There is, however, some debate on the necessity for Long Term Care insurance as we have learned that men and women view the need for this coverage very differently. Below is a typical excerpt from a conversation between an aging couple.
EMILY: We need to think about the purchase of LTC Insurance; I’m almost 65 years old and will most likely need daily assistance in the future. I see that some of my friends already need such assistance.
JOHN: Long Term Care Insurance!!! What is this insurance ? I’ve never heard of that one! I have Life Insurance. Why do we need yet another type of insurance?
EMILY: It’s been around for a lot of years. It’s just like you to tune out to facts you don’t want to know about! Your Life insurance will help me with expenses after you die! LTC insurance will help pay for our continuing care while you and I are alive.
JOHN: Do you mean I will have to pay you to care for me? I Thought it was a given that you would care for me if and when I’m unable to do things for myself.
EMILY: No Silly, but what if I die before you… what if I’m not physically able to care for you…what about my care after you die…?
JOHN: What about our kids…? They will care for us.
EMILY: I would never dream of that! That would only make them despise us. Time spent caring for us means time away from their jobs, their homes and their own families. Also, it would mean a loss of income if they had to take off time from their jobs. Before you know it we’ll have real family problems!
JOHN: Okay, we know that you will outlive me, so my life insurance will take care of you after I’m gone.
EMILY: So $50,000.00 will be enough to cover all my expenses for the rest of my life? What will I use to pay for the expenses if I need long term care?
JOHN: And why not? That’s more -than- enough for you.
EMILY: In my family the women live well into their eighties. For how long can $50,000.00keep me going? Don’t forget that we still have a bit remaining on the mortgage, monthly utility bills will still be due, and by that time, who knows what they would cost? What do you imagine Long Term Care will cost at that time, whether it is in our house or in a facility?
VOICE OF REASON IN JOHN’S HEAD: Aren’t women supposed to make decisions based on emotions rather that reasoning? She sure put a lot of reasoning into this!
EMILY: You know this is something we need to look into. How can we get more information on LTC? Maybe our Life Insurance Agent has more information. Who knows, perhaps there’s some sort of rider that can be added to our existing policies.
JOHN: EM, I have to give you credit, you do put forth a strong argument, and you seem to have given this quite a lot of thought. Maybe Long Term Care Insurance is worth taking a look at.
– Narima Prashad