Right now, most Americans are grumbling about Obamacare. There is no question that the new laws and subsidies will help low-income Americans. The problem is that the help they are getting is hurting middle-class American entrepreneurs.
Self-employed people have to work hard for the profits they enjoy. Many struggled in the past to earn enough, after expenses, to pay premiums for health insurance.
Unfortunately, many middle-class Americans will work too hard to qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for the higher health insurance premiums.
If they do not pay for the higher premiums, their government is going to force them to pay a penalty tax. Mr. Obama refuses to admit that the “Shared Responsibility Payment” that is in the PPACA is a tax. However, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the penalty is an additional tax in June, 2012.
Not only is the government mandating that middle-class Americans pay for higher health insurance premiums, they are also requiring these same Americans to pay for health insurance coverage that they may not need.
Why should a male, or post menopausal woman pay for maternity coverage? Why not restrict that coverage expense to women in child-bearing years?
Why should a teetotaler be forced to pay for substance abuse coverage? Why is that coverage not optional for those who drink or take drugs?
Not only am I concerned that this attack on the finances of middle America is unfair and undeserved. I am also concerned that Mr. Obama has made it even harder for people to plan for their Long Term Care needs.
Medicare’s coverage of Long Term Care is very limited. It only covers when there is a medical necessity for care. Unfortunately, the vast majority of seniors needing Long Term Care will not qualify for help from Medicare.
Most seniors will be able to remain in their homes, if they only have a little help. While the federal government’s Medicare plan will help with the medical expenses charged by the doctor and hospital with a hip replacement, it will not help pay the bill for a Home Care specialist to come to the house and help while you recover.
For that type of help, you will need true Long Term Care insurance.
In this post I want to share some of the most common excuses that people make for not planning for Long Term Care expenses.
1. “The government will take care of me”
Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true.
Medicare will only pay for medically necessary care for a limited time. The federal program will not pay for non-medical expenses, like hiring a Home Care professional to provide help with your Activities of Daily Living.
Medicare will only pay for a few days in a skilled nursing home. If you require a stay of longer than 90 days in a nursing home, you will need to “spend down” your assets until you are able to qualify in your state for your State’s Medicaid program.
When the PPACA, a.k.a.Obamacare, was passed in 2010, it included a section that would have created a federal program to help with the Long Term Care expenses for all Americans who had 5 more years before they retired.
Unfortunately, Mr. Obama and his Secretary of HHS decided, without congressional input, that such a program was unfeasible. Rather than consulting with congress to get help and guidance to fulfill the expressed wishes of congress, Mr. Obama and Ms. Sebelius stopped trying to make the wishes of congress work and suspended all work on TITLE VIII of the PPACA.
For now, there is no federal option to help older Americans who are able to live on their own if they only have someone to help with their Activities of Daily Living.
The only government program that exists is one from the individual states. For that you must “spend down” your retirement savings until you qualify for Medicaid’s help.
2. “It’s expensive”
Yes, if you wait until after you retire, and load a plan up with all the “bells and whistles” that are available, true Long Term Care insurance (LTCI) can get pretty expensive.
However, if you obtain your LTCI during the “prime” years of 55-60 and only get the riders that you really need, true LTCI can cost about what you are already paying for permanent Life insurance.
Speaking of Life insurance, if you need that type of insurance, many companies now offer a LTCI rider.
During the last legislature, the politicians of Texas, passed a new law that allows Texans to sell their Life insurance policies, at a discount, for funds to be used to pay for Long Term Care expenses.
3. “I’m young; I don’t need it”
I find this excuse almost acceptable. Most Americans are able to reach full retirement from their careers.
However, I understand that not all Americans are so lucky. My father, brother and sister all got sick during their late 40s. By the time they were in their 50s my mother and sister-in-law had no choice but to place my father and brother in a nursing home. My brother-in-law was able to care for my sister. She died in her bed in her late 50s.
In college, a friend of mine fell off a mountain cliff and suffered a broken spine. He lived through the experience but has been paralyzed since 1980.
One of my clients suffered an accident in his early 40s and has been confined to a wheel chair with brain damage.
What I have learned, in my life, is that although most Americans do not need LTCI until after they retire, a surprising number of them need it during, what would be, their working years.
4. Insurance Agent Restrictions
It is not right to blame insurance agents for not spreading the word about LTCI. Most states require insurance agents to obtain specific training before they are allowed to talk to the public about LTCI. If the insurance agent you have does not discuss true LTCI with you, it is not because he is ignorant of your needs. It is because he is restricted on what he says about LTCI.
Although his insurance license may allow him to discuss alternatives, like adding a LTCI rider to a Life insurance policy, unless he has taken the time for the additional LTCI training, that most states require, he is limited on how much he can help you.
5. People hate buying insurance
I can completely understand this mindset. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about future limitations.
Unfortunately, if bad things are going to happen in the future, it makes absolutely no difference if you talk about it now or not. They are going to come to pass.
It is almost always better to make plans for future limitations while you are young and healthy. The premiums are lower and it is easier to pass medical underwriting.
In this post I have shared 5 of the most popular excuses that people use to not plan for their future Long Term Care expenses. These are just 5 excuses that people use. I am certain that if you try hard enough, you will be able to think of another excuse for not making plans for future Long Term Care needs.
If you have read this far into this post, you are aware enough to understand that if you fail to make plans for the future now, you have already chosen to spend your retirement savings on future Long Term Care expenses if you suffer a loss of the ability to perform the Activities of Daily Living.
If you want to see how much true LTCI would cost you, click the banner below to visit or Long Term Care Insurance page and request an illustration so you can make an informed decision.