Long-Term Care Insurance: To Buy or Not to Buy?

At first glance, long-term care insurance sounds like a good idea. You consider your Aunt Millie, who spent the last decade of her 101 years in a Wisconsin nursing home, leaving her children without any estate at all. But then you recall the case of a friend’s mother, who passed away after only a few months in a care facility-following years of long-term care insurance premium payments. What to do?

There’s no getting around it: Long-term care is expensive. A monthly care facility invoice can easily top $5,000, depending on the services needed. A resident who is unable to perform half a dozen Activities of Daily Living-such as eating, dressing, or bathing-will require a higher level of care. A resident who is mentally foggy or disoriented may also incur higher costs. Whether caused by Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, cognitive impairment can require increased oversight, personal assistance, and medication provision. Prescriptions, wheelchairs, and transportation to medical appointments are among the typical additional costs.

Long-term care insurance policies cover care at a nursing home or other facility, beginning with coverage of $60 a day for one year. These policies come with a range of premium costs, depending on the level of benefits and the age at which you purchase the policy.

While many Wisconsinites are interested in long-term care insurance, it is not right for everyone. Generally, consumers with high income and asset levels would often do best to simply pay for their own care as the need arises. Consumers with lower income and asset levels would often do best to consider other options, including available community services and their eventual eligibility for Medicaid-a federal- and state-supported program that can assist with long-term care.

In many cases the cost of long-term care insurance is too high for the benefits received. Paying for premiums should never cause a financial hardship. Financial experts suggest that a consumer should not spend more than 7 percent of their annual income for long-term care insurance.

Some consumers will find that they are ineligible for long-term care insurance due to preexisting conditions. If you have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, you are unlikely to qualify for a policy.

The Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner’s Office (http://oci.wi.gov) offers a Guide to Long-Term Care, which includes a worksheet to help you decide if long-term care insurance is the right choice for you. The guidebook also provides a checklist to help you compare different policies according to cost, benefits, and limitations.

Policies designated as “tax-qualified” or “qualified” under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) enable you to deduct part of the premium you pay. If you itemize your federal income tax deductions, you can include the premiums with other uncompensated medical expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

One more resource is the Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (http://longtermcare.wi.gov), which operates the Long Term Care Ombudsman and Medigap Helpline Services.

 

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About Union State Bank

Honesty, integrity, commitment; hometown values that are our way of doing business. At Union State Bank our mission is to be the preferred, locally owned bank committed to providing exceptional service to achieve long lasting customer relationships. The Union State Bank has been serving the banking needs of our community since 1911, when the Farmers and Merchants State Bank was formed in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. The Bank’s slogan was "A Bank of the People, By the People and For the People - A Bank For All The People," and invited the community "if you are not a customer, become one, and we assure you that your interests will be protected in every legitimate manner." In 1934 the Farmers and Merchants State Bank consolidated with the Dairyman’s State Bank, which was located across the street, and the Union State Bank was formed. It was reported in the local paper that "The union of two banks is particularly for the benefit of depositors. All the experience, ability and training gained through many years of banking service is combined here primarily for your protection. The confidence that has been cultivated over past years is now being strengthened." We have continued to grow through the years, and slogans used include "Union State Bank, where rail and water meet" and "Union State Bank, the bank and a half, we give you our all and then some." We currently have four locations. We have two offices located in Kewaunee, Wisconsin which is along the shores of Lake Michigan, approximately 20 miles east of Green Bay. We also have an office in Green Bay, Wisconsin and an office in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Our main office is located at 223 Ellis Street in Kewaunee. Our second Kewaunee location was established in 1996 and is in the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. Our Green Bay office was established in 1987 and in September of 1999 we completed an addition to that location. In April 2004 we opened our office in Two Rivers. Originally situated inside the Pick 'n Save grocery store, the Two Rivers office was relocated to a brand new building at 2221 Lincoln Avenue on April 21, 2009. We have certainly grown and changed over years, but one thing remains constant - our commitment to our customers. We are proud to be the only independent bank in Kewaunee, which allows us the ability to offer a wide array of services that are designed to meet the individual needs of our customers. We offer full-service banking from an experienced, dedicated staff of full-time employees. We still believe in the "personal touch," and enjoy getting to know our customers. Even though we are a small, locally owned bank, we offer the latest in technology services, including our website and 24-hour account access via our "Union Access" line. We are proud of our long history of high-quality, personalized service, and invite you to become a customer of Union State Bank. See how "We Make the Difference" for you.
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One Response to Long-Term Care Insurance: To Buy or Not to Buy?

  1. Samantha Wright says:

    In my honest opinion, it is important nowadays because of the high cost of long term care and longer life expectancy. According to the recent report, 7 out of 10 of people who are turning 65 and those who are older will require long term care. Meanwhile 41% of people who are between the age of 18 and 65 will also require ltc due to injury, disability and disease. This only shows that everyone is at risk of requiring long term care. For your guidance, here’s an article that can help you decide whether you’ll need ltc insurance or not: http://www.ltcoptions.com/why-having-long-term-care-insurance-makes-a-difference/.

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