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Feb
02

Welcome from Phyllis Shelton

Thank you for stopping by my website created just for consumers who don’t have a local insurance professional to answer their questions about long-term care insurance. My commitment to you is to provide a simple explanation for whatever you ask me, and that’s why this site and my simplest book are both called The ABC’s of Long-Term Care Insurance. The subject of planning for long-term care has gotten way too complicated, and I’m here to help you sort through any confusion.

If you found me through my dear friend, Suze Orman, then we  share a connection already of knowing a truly great person with a huge heart who lives to help families go from just surviving the current economy into embracing The New Retirement.  I’m thrilled to participate in that journey with Suze to help you and your family know just how important the step of planning for long-term care is. And let me be very upfront about where I am on this topic.

Planning for long-term care is not just a good idea – it’s essential for most Americans so that families can retain INDEPENDENCE and CHOICE when care is needed.

Is long-term care insurance right for everyone? No, but you owe it to yourself and your family to find out if it’s right for you. And now you have a willing navigator…ME. If you REALLY want to know more, order a copy of my new book Protecting Your Family with Long-Term Care Insurance today!

P.S. If you are here because you saw my letter about helping people protect their retirement savings from a down market while finding a way to pay for long-term care regardless of what kind of health you are in today, you are also in the right place. Or, if you didn’t receive my letter but this thought appeals to you, send me a comment so I can get back to you on how to do that.

69 comments

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  1. Donna and Bob Olesh says:

    Long-term-care insurance policyholders face sharp premium hikes_ ‘When do these increases end_ There is no ceiling’ _ Live Well Nebraska _ omaha.com.html

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Thank you for the opportunity to check out the two posts on Live Well Nebraska, one of which ended with the sentence “On the other hand, 48 percent of Americans will never need paid, formal long-term-care services..” I posted this comment:

      “hmmm, so the report said 48% of people won’t need care. So if you thought there’s a one in two chance that your house will burn down, how long would it take you to get homeowners insurance? Of course, that’s not the risk of a home burning, which is why homeowner’s insurance is so much less expensive than long-term care insurance. At $6000 a month or so, four years of long-term care costs much more than the average American home, and that’s today. Inflation in the next 20-30 years will make that number look small.”

  2. stormy coleman says:

    i jut saw your e-mail in an article written by Terry Savage “sticker shock for long
    term care insurance.

    Will drag out my info and may write for some advice.

    I mainly wanted to say thank you for offering your help in this complicated
    world we live in. I’m on Medicare with Humana Health. It’s been a
    nightmare. The sales rep., calling their main office for help, etc.etc.
    No one knows what’s going on. I’m going to get a new rep or change
    companies.

    Enough for now. Again, thanks for offering your time.
    Ms Stormy Coleman

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      I will be glad to help you Stormy. Email your rate increase letter to me at phyllis@gotltci.com or fax it to me at 615-590-0307. Be sure to include your phone number so I know how to contact you. If you have any problems please contact Lawrence Vivenzio on my team at lawrence@gotltci.com or call him at 888-400-1118, x120.
      .

  3. Barbara Casey says:

    I am female, 76 years old and recently widowed. My husband and I did not have ltc. His death was quick so we really didn’t need it. I am in excellent health, live in my own house and have adequate savings (annuities).

    I am going to see an advisor next week and I want to make sure I do the right thing. I know eventually I will probably need LTC, but want to be careful how I spend my $.

    Thank you.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hello Barbara, I’m so sorry for your loss. Yes, I’m happy to help you and I know your time is short. Will you please go to my “Suze” link and reserve a time to talk with me in the first column (Telephone 1)? All the times are in Central. Also if you can be near your computer, that will help so we can do a screen share if necessary. http://www.gotltci.com/ltciconsultations/suzeorman.

  4. Lisha Kronmann says:

    Hi Phyllis- My husband and I bought a joint long term care insurance policy through Genworth back in 2012. It is a policy where we pay premiums (very significant premiums- currently $16,000/yr) for 10yr, then the policy is paid in full and we no longer pay premiums. Benefits are for 10years each, and they can be shared between us. We have the inflation protection rider for 5%, and felt relatively good about our investment until today, when someone told me that Genworth has been increasing their premiums by 60%, and that they have made moves to separate their long term care insurance division from the rest of the company, presumably because they anticipate that the LTC portion may go bankrupt and they are trying to protect their other assets. At his point we are 64k in the hole, and after a google search, I see that several ratings agencies did downgrade Genworth earlier this year. We are trying to decide what to do- do you know what happens if they go belly up? I don’t want to walk away from 64k, but also don’t want to loose more if that is where things are heading. What do you advise? we could walk away and try for a different company- we are both 47 and in relatively good health. Any advise you can provide is appreciated. thanks-

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Lisha, I’m happy to help you. I need to see exactly what you have. Will you please scan email me the Schedule of Benefits page from the front of your policy? Or if faxing is easier, our fax is 615-590-0307.

      Then will you please book a time with me in the first column (Telephone 1) so I can go over everything with you.

      http://www.gotltci.com/ltciconsultations/suzeorman

      Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are alternatives. Looking forward to talking with you very soon.

      Thanks Lisha.

  5. K V Lura says:

    I am a retired federal employee. I have had Long Term Care insurance for my wife and myself through the Federal offering, LTCPartners, since it began in 2002. I am 66. my is 64. We kept our coverage unchanged (the choice, as I recall, was to that or drop inflation protection) and began paying the higher premiums (after a bit of hard thought) when the plan “changed” in 2011. Now, in 2016, they are making another round of changes due to their increasing costs and apparent actuarial errors. We are again being offered the choice to keep our coverage unchanged (keeping 5% inflation protection) but pay nearly 2.25 times the current premium; reduce to 3.9% inflation at approx. 1.7 times more cost; reduce inflation coverage to 2.2% at the old premium; or to be “bought out” for what looks to be a little less than the total of the premiums paid since we started–to be paid as a fixed amount of LTC coverage (probably less than 4 – 5 months of paid for care). My state, Minnesota, participates in an LTC Partnership, but since we bought in to LTC Partners before 2006 the plan isn’t recognized as a Partnership Plan. The increases are extreme and very difficult to consider on a retiree income. We are both still in good health. I am considering taking the “buy out” and looking for a plan which qualifies for Minnesota Partnership or dropping the inflation protection to the 2.2% level and “hanging in there”. Do you have any advice for us, including a Minnesota Partnership plan? Thank you for anything you might suggest.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Please see my post about the Federal plan’s rate increase at if you haven’t yet. This will help you analyze the value of your benefits vs. the premium to make a more informed decision. You and your wife are still young so you want to be very careful about reducing the inflation benefit, especially if you have longevity or Alzheimer’s in your family history. You will see in my article that you don’t have to accept just what is offered to you in the rate increase letter. People with unlimited benefit periods may opt to reduce to a five year for example before reducing the inflation coverage. My basic formula is to find out the cost of a “country-club” assisted living facility in your area…about $5,500 a month for Minneapolis…and project that at 5% compound for at least 20 years, so about $15,000 a month. If you had to pay four years at that amount ($720,000), how would that impact your retirement? Now compare what you will pay in premium for the next 20 years to that number with the full rate increase, remembering that the premium will stop when you have a claim. Also, insurance benefits are tax-free, whereas self-insuring can mean using taxable money or selling real estate at an inopportune time. I wish the Federal program was a Partnership plan as well but the most important thing is that you have the best coverage for your premium dollar. New plans cost much more than they did even three years ago and finding a comparable plan at a lower cost would be difficult, especially when you consider the Federal program has the best home care benefits in the industry with all the informal caregiver benefits. So before you reduce benefits, figure out how much of that $15000 a month you can pay and how much you want insurance to pay. Nursing home care will cost quite a bit more if you or your wife need that as a last resort. Most people don’t so that’s why I use the nice assisted living facility as a benchmark. Home care is growing much slower so I know if the assisted living facility is fully funded, it will also cover a lot of home care.

  6. M.K. says:

    I am a 44 (soon to be 45) year old woman, federal employee (professional), who signed up for federal long term care insurance (FLTCIP) when I started working for the federal government in the DC area 7.5 years ago. Recently, I received a letter from the FLTCIP (John Hancock) which said that in order to have the same coverage, my premiums will increase from $89.23 per month to $201.67 per month starting November 1, 2016. That is a large increase for me. I signed up for LTC because the premiums were affordable. Now this is clearly becoming a luxury. Since I am only about 45, should I just drop my LTC insurance, and then seek to get LTC insurance again when I am in my mid-50’s? I am in good health (according to my doctors), never married, no kids, and I try to keep in good health by going to the gym several times a week. Although I do realize that anything can happen.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Yes, that is a large increase but the Federal plan was a really great deal when you bought it and still is by today’s standards. Today’s policies are gender-rated which means women pay a lot more. A single 44 year old woman today in the open market would pay between $400-$500 a month for a daily benefit of $150, 3 year benefit period and 5% compound inflation. My guess is your benefits are higher than this. If you can afford the $201.67, my advice is to accept the rate increase and be very thankful you have this coverage. If you do want to decrease your premium, I’m happy to look at your benefits and make a recommendation. Just email the Schedule of Benefits from your policy to me at phyllis@gotltci.com or fax it to 615-590-0307. Please do not cancel your policy. It is irreplaceable.

  7. Curt says:

    I am a 56 year old male in good health in Ohio. Question I have – is it better to purchase long term care policy with potential yearly rate increases or instead purchase a whole life insurance policy with long term care rider? The feature of the whole life policy is no rate increase on the LTC rider.

    What companies do you current recommend?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      The answer to your question depends on too many factors to really give you a “canned” answer. Planning for long-term care is something that is so individualized that to make a recommendation we need to learn a bit more about you. We can help you with both traditional long-term care and alternative LTC planning methods like the life/LTC plans you mentioned if you do not have a local processional who is knowledgeable on the topic.

      If you would like to have a free no-obligation consultation please go to http://www.gotltci.com/contact-us and complete the short questionnaire below the video. When you do, you’ll get an automatic email with a link to our calendar website so you can select a date & time for your consultation. On that website when you click on any date, you’ll see four columns. Please sign up under the first column for help with comparing alternative LTC solutions with traditional policies.

  8. Mary Krost says:

    Hi Phyllis,
    I am a 74 year old female who has had a long tern care policy with Genworth for 10 years. Recently, I was advised that my premiums will go up substantially over a three year period starting this August 2016. By 2018, I will be paying approximately $500.00 per month for my policy. I have been researching why this is happening and I have come upon a lot of rather alarming information on Genworth including class action suits against the company for manipulating their stock information, to raising the rates so high as to force seniors to drop their policies, to refusing to pay benefits to their policy holders and much more upseting information. I am concerned that this company may not even be in business 10 years from now and to continue paying on this policy would be a waste of money. To date, over ten years I have paid approximately $46,000 into this policy. I am not sure what I should do. Do you have any thoughts or information that can help me in making the right decision?
    Thank you in advance for your help
    Mary Krost

  9. Patti Lieb says:

    Hello Phyllis,
    I am 72 years old and began a LTC policy in July 1998 with CNA when I was employed at Motorola. In August I will have a total knee replacement but discovered that there is a 90-day waiting period. I thought I had $200/daily for $300,000 lifetime benefit. Now I understand that they pay a nursing home $200/day or assisted living $150. But I need the benefits as soon as I have the surgery.
    What should I do to cover these costs? I am confused and think there is a sham going on. I must pay for these costs myself but thought I was banking those costs for the past 18 years.
    I also would like to change the policy. Is there anything you might suggest?
    Many thanks!

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Patti, glad you checked with me. Your CNA policy is long-term care insurance so it is intended for care that lasts longer than a few weeks as that is really short-term care. Medicare has 100 days possible for a rehab facility if you are in the hospital at least three days. I don’t think Medicare would approve the entire 100 days for a total knee replacement but whatever would be approved would help you. Medicare can also cover some home care visits after the rehab stay. You have excellent benefits with your CNA policy for a long-term condition. The $150 daily for an assisted living facility combined with your income would likely cover a “country club” assisted living facility, depending on where you live.Your benefits will last at least 50 months for nursing home care and more like 5.5 years if you use the entire benefit account for an assisted living facility. Plus your premium will stop when you start collecting benefits on your CNA policy. For short-term care, if you need more than what Medicare will pay, consider placing a note on your church bulletin board or local senior center for someone who can sit with you while you recover. That would be less expensive than going through a home health agency.

  10. Sandy says:

    I have a long term care policy through CNA.
    My effective date of the policy is January of 2008.
    I am 61 years old/female. The premium is $105 per month. Lifetime maximum is $560,000 and daily benefit is $140.00.
    Waiting period is 90 days. LTC benefit is 100% of eligible expense per day of NH or Alternate Care Facility and 100% of the Eligible Expense per day of Community based care not to exceed $140.00 per day.
    Caregiver training benefit $420.00
    Temporary bed =100=21 days
    Hospice= 100% of eligible expense not to exceed $140.00 per day.
    Emergency Alert system= not to exceed $140.00 per month

    I have not had to submit any claims, but I’ve read some bad reviews of where people have had difficulty when they submit claims. My own concerns about billing of premiums and poor communication have made me doubt whether I should keep this policy. Their communications are dated in one month, but I don’t receive the actual letter until a month after the letter was written. They have taken 3 premiums out of my bank in one month and took another premium payment a month early. I have been on the phone constantly trying to sort things out. I feel that if I have this much problem with the billing of premiums, I wonder what my loved ones would have to go through just trying to submit claims and receive payments.

    I don’t even know if the policy that I have is even going to make a difference down the road if I would need it.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Sandy – I’m glad you checked in with me. Sounds like you don’t have inflation so the benefit isn’t growing. I really need to know where you live (or where you are going to retire) plus an idea of the resources you have available to put with it to comment on whether or not it will be meaningful. Your longevity also figures into this. To answer your question specifically about claims, CNA has a new claims management team and they are in the process of bringing it all inhouse instead of having a third-party administrator pay the claims. They are very committed to excellence and making sure everything on the claims end runs smoothly. If you would like me to evaluate if this policy is enough for you, please complete the short questionnaire at and I will be happy to talk with you a little and make a recommendation. After you complete the questionnaire, you will receive an email directing you to a calendar to sign up for a no-obligation consultation. I am Column 1, so if you select a time in that column, I will be able to help you more. Thanks! Phyllis Shelton

  11. Karen Guest says:

    I am a 58 yr old widow in good health and take no medications, and have two sons, ages 20 & 18. My mother had a series of strokes and dementia and required 24 hour care at the end of her life. I currently work part time, live off of investments and have my retirement is well set up. I have additional 500k cash set aside earning next to nothing. I have no life insurance or long term care so I am considering investing 100K in a Lincoln MoneyGuard II that has reimbursement for long term care expenses through a flexible premium life insurance policy. each year the life ins premium goes down as the long care coverage goes up. Can you comment on this plan? In addition, I am considering a 200K investment in an American Pathway Fixed Annuity Plus Income plan designed to provide me with another source of income beginning at age 65. Any comment on this?
    Thank you!!

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Karen – please go to this link and select a time that is most convenient for you in Column 1 (Telephone 1). I’m always happy to evaluate policies at no charge.
      http://www.gotltci.com/ltciconsultations/suzeorman
      Please have the Lincoln quote available and also the American Pathway so we can discuss them. Please be at a computer so we can do a screen share.

  12. G Collis says:

    I currently have a policy with CNA for $100 a day , $182,500 total on four year payout for a very low premium about $400 a year. I have to renew my policy soon and have checked out rates at other companies. They are very high. I am 62 years old.
    CNA has very bad reports on the internet about payouts. Do you have any advice ?
    Thanks

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Yes, your premium is very low and I urge you to keep your CNA policy. CNA has a new management team that is 100% committed to improving the service at CNA all around and to especially make sure the claims are paid timely and accurately. Your daily benefit is low compared to today’s prices but it may be enough depending on your other resources. If you would like a no-obligation consultation to see if you need additional coverage, just complete the short questionnaire at https://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/ Since most insurance companies are now gender-rating, men can buy long-term care insurance today for much less than a couple of years ago.

  13. Claire Weinberg says:

    I am 74 years old and considering a partial long-term care policy of about $162,000 pool of money, with a 3 year monthly benefit of about $4500. The 2 companies I am considering, which seem the most affordable, are John Hancock and Mutual of Omaha. I can’t seem to find any information regarding the ease of claims filing with either of them. I would appreciate any information you can share about these companies in regard to the ease of claims payments or any other information you have about them.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      I don’t think you can go wrong with either one of them Claire. A good place to look to see how a company is doing is in the Consumer Education Source on the NAIC website.

  14. Susan says:

    Hello–I just turned 55 a few weeks ago, and for my birthday, I decided to investigate LTC insurance. I am 55, widowed, have one daughter, am employed full time and in good health. Except that a couple of weeks ago I fell off my horse and fractured my pelvis/hip/sacrum. No surgery or other treatment than resting and walk with cane/walker and a full recovery is expected. So my question is, will this injury affect my ability to purchase LTC insurance? Will I be considered high-risk? Also, I have a history of bipolar disorder–well controlled with medication. To what extent does medical/psychiatric history affect ability to purchase and cost of LTC insurance? How extensive are the questionnaires?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      The questions on long-term care insurance applications are relatively thorough. What’s even more thorough is the underwriting process and the various insurance companies’ underwriting guidelines. Each company has a comprehensive set of underwriting criteria that covers a multitude of conditions that assess an applicant’s long-term health both physically and cognitively. Some vary greatly so a condition that’s perfectly fine with one company may be uninsurable for another. The main thing to remember is that they’re not quite as concerned about what might happen tomorrow, but they’re more concerned about what might happen in 20 or 30 years, for example. That’s why some people who get preferred rates with life insurance policies may be completely uninsurable for long-term care insurance policies. It’s a morbidity consideration for long-term care (underwriting the risk or a not immediately life-treating, extended, debilitating illness) vs a mortality consideration for life insurance (the risk of death).

      So something like broken bones that have healed aren’t quite as much of a concern for long-term care. They’ll simply want to see that physical therapy is completed, that you’re released from treatment, and that no issues arise for 6-12 months after that (that length of time varies depending on the insurance company – it’s called a stability period). The other thing they’ll check for is any kind of permanent spinal issues that may be problematic down the road.

      Now something like a diagnosis of bi-polar may be well-controlled and stable today, but people with a bi-polar diagnosis are at a higher risk of developing dementia (among many other conditions) so that’s a more concerning item for long-term care underwriters. Any traditional long-term care insurance carrier does not underwrite a diagnosis of bi-polar or the use of any anti-psychotic medications such as Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon, Clozaril, or Risperdal to name a few of the more popularly prescribed brand name drugs.

      What might be a better fit for your situation is a policy that combines life insurance or an annuity with long-term care benefits that has little to no medical underwriting. To develop this type of plan someone usually re-positions an asset that is moderately performing to under performing and wakes that money up to make it multi-task – grow at a higher rate, be a death benefit, be a long-term care benefit, be retirement income, or be a refund of premium at a future date. Depending on the vehicle, it may do some of or all of these things.

      Also, depending on what state in which you currently reside, you may have short-term care policies available to you which is basically long-term care insurance stuffed into a smaller box. It’s less underwriting, less premium, and less benefits.

      This is why we want to do everything we can to explain to people that only good (by some people’s standards great health) physical and cognitive health can buy you long-term care insurance. For some 55 years old makes perfect sense, but for many others that may be far too late. When you fell off of that horse, you very well may have been injured more severely. That can happen to any 20 year old at any time as well. When people ask me what age is the right age to buy, the answer is when you’re healthy enough to apply and it’s affordable to you.

      I hope you found this response helpful and would like to thank you again for your inquiry because this response may help others as well.

      If you would like to look further into some of the options that may be available for your particular situation (life/ltc, annuity/ltc, or short-term products), please go to http://www.gotltci.com/contact-us and complete the questionnaire (in the comments section please mention you were the one asking this question) so I can further evaluate your situation and let you know what might be out there to help you plan for long-term care.

  15. Charlene Hebert says:

    Hi! Do you think 71 is to old to buy a hybrid LTC plan for $3700 a yr. I am in very good health and my mother lived to be 94. Would I be better to put the money away for in home care if I need it. I live close to family and hope to be independent until the end. Thank you!

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Charlene – I would love you to give you a definitive answer but I can’t based on this information. I need to know which hybrid policy you are considering and the benefits you would be getting for $3700 a year. I don’t think you would gain much by saving $3700 a year for home care. In short, there may be better options but I won’t know unless we talk for a few minutes so I can ask you some questions and learn more about you and the coverage you are considering. Would you please do me a favor and complete the short questionnaire at https://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/ so I can learn a little more about you? Then Lawrence Vivenzio on my staff will reach out to you to set up a no-obligation consultation with me if you wish to do so. Thanks for reaching out to me. Phyllis Shelton

  16. Phyllis Shelton says:

    Hi Lauren – so glad the cancer was Stage 1. However, being able to apply through your daughter’s employer doesn’t exempt you from underwriting. If you still have it, you will not be insurable at this time. You need to be at least 12 months out from any treatment to be considered by LTC insurance companies. You can always call Genworth if you haven’t already and ask specifically when you can apply. Tell them everything so you don’t apply and get declined. You don’t want a decline on your record if you can avoid it. If you are at least 12 months treatment free and want my help to compare policies, please email Lawrence@ltcconsultants.com for an appointment time for a call.

  17. Chris L says:

    I am 54, is that early for LTC Insurance or will premiums cost less?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      54 is by no means too early for LTC insurance…the younger the better Chris. Some people are totally uninsurable by age 54. The latest stats from the Centers for Disease Control is that 1 out of 3 people who are hospitalized for a stroke is under age 65. Please let us know if we can help at https://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/

  18. Chris L says:

    Do you know anything about Lincoln money guard reserve?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Yes. Lincoln is a very strong company. It is a combination life insurance and LTC insurance policy. Just make sure you put enough in so it will pay what you expect it to pay at claim time. The important thing is that you are able to make up the difference between what the care charges are on a monthly basis and what the policy pays.

  19. Mel says:

    Hello Phyllis. I’m age 60 and am trying to research LTCi options. My advisor suggested Genworth, which seems like a reputable company. However, I’m also aware that MedAmerica also sells LTCi. I’ve tried to compare pricing, benefits, etc., but cannot find much info on MedAmerica’s policies. Would you suggest how I might get more info on policy options from MedAmerica? Thank you not only for myself, but for all of the people you’re assisting with this very complicated and confusing insurance that most of us will need at some point in our lives. Mel

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Mel – I’m so glad you found me and thank you for your very kind words. I do believe Suze Orman has made me the Dear Abby of long-term are insurance and I love that! To answer your question, I am extremely familiar with MedAmerica. My company works with MedAmerica to provide the employee education for the State of Tennessee’s group long-term care insurance plan, so I can help you with that comparison. If you don’t mind taking a minute to complete the short questionnaire at https://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/, my staff will be back with you to schedule a time for us to talk. There’s no obligation to buy anything of course. And if you share your address, we will send you a hard copy or ebook (your choice) of my little book The ABCs of Long-Term Care Insurance. It’s a simple little book which will give you a solid foundation on how to evaluate options for paying for long-term care. We do need to talk fairly soon however. MedAmerica is about to introduce a new policy and withdraw the current one. It would be wise for you to compare the pricing on the current policy while it is still available.

  20. Sue Rundblad says:

    Do you recommend a hybrid policy

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hello Sue – you can kinda anticipate my answer. It depends. You need to have enough money to put in a hybrid policy to build meaningful LTC benefits for yourself, not just now but in the future. Too often hybrid plans are sold with the line “Give me $100,000 and I’ll give you $300,000 for long-term care” with no discussion about how much it will pay for long-term care on a monthly basis in the future. Will it may a fourth, a third, half, two-thirds? You need to know that. There are hybrids that allow annual premium, not the large single premium, and some allow you to pay them off in 10 years or less. What people like about them is someone gets money if you die without needing LTC or if you only need a little. If you would like my help in evaluation the hybrid option with you, just take a minute and complete the short questionnaire at https://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/ My staff will be in touch with you to set up a no-obligation consultation with me.

  21. dora thompson says:

    I received your name from Suze Ormans E-mail. I am interested in possibly getting LTC insurance. I don’t know who to contact . I live in Seattle, Washington. I’m going to be 59 years old in November. Can you help me to know what I need and can afford
    Any help would be appreciated. Thank-you for your attention to this letter.
    Sincerely,
    Dora Thompson

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hello Dora – I am so glad you contacted me and will be glad to help you. All you need to do is go to this link and complete the short questionnaire. Then my staff will get back with you and schedule a time for us to talk so I can ask you a few more questions and make some recommendations. No obligation of course. http://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/

  22. Christine says:

    I am 42 and take coumadin for life because I had 2 instances of idiopathic bloodclots. My husband is 54 and had a heart attack at 45 (family history) and a stroke because the surgeon accidentally severed his carotid artery during bypass surgery. He takes blood pressure meds, plavix, and cholesterol meds. We are both thin, active, and otherwise healthy. We keep a healthy mostly organic diet. We’re just genetically unlucky. I have cancer in my family and my 79 year old mother has dementia. I want LTC insurance for us. Is there any hope that someone would be willing to insure us?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      We are always happy to talk with you and your husband and suggest creative solutions to help you. Please email Lawrence@ltcconsultants.com to set up a convenient time to talk with us.

  23. James Hickey says:

    my question is my mother is 91 she doesnt have much in assets and her ltc plan only pays $90.00 per day what can i do

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      That’s a benefit of about $2700 a month. If she has a little additional income (Social Security?), she should be able to afford an assisted living facility, depending on where you live. Assisted living averages about $3500 a month. If she needs more care than an assisted living facility can provide, she may be a candidate for the Medicaid long-term care benefit. You can see your state’s requirement here http://www.gotltci.com/2015/01/what-your-state-lets-you-keep/ and please feel free to contact me for a more detailed explanation. 888-400-1118 or phyllis@gotltci.com.

  24. Frankie says:

    My question is about the benefits of having LTC Insurance for couples who do not have kids and there is no other family to ‘protect’. Is LTC Insurance still a good option in this situation? Also do all facilities take LTC Insurance from any carrier?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      The benefits of having LTC insurance are even greater for couples without kids or family to act as caregivers, Frankie. That means you will need paid caregivers as you can’t take care of each other 24/7. With LTC insurance, you can stay home as long as possible, or you may prefer an assisted living facility. An ALF means no house and yard maintenance and you no longer have to cook for yourselves. Both of you can move into a unit when only one needs care and the insurance will pay. In a nutshell, what I’m trying to explain is that LTC insurance gives you private pay choices and makes a nursing home the last resort. Then if you need nursing home care, you get to pick the one you want vs. having the state tell you where to go. Yes, the facilities love long-term care insurance as that puts private-pay dollars in their pockets fast!

  25. Richard White says:

    I have a CNA LTC policy purchased in Ohio 1998. I am no longer a resident of Ohio having moved to Nevada in 2001. Is my policy enforceable in Nevada or do I face a challenge from CNA

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Your policy will work fine in Nevada, Richard, or any other state.

  26. Nora D. says:

    I got your name from a Susie Orman article saying you are her go-to expert on LTC issues! I am 70 years old; 10 years ago I bought LTC from Continental Casualty Company. A few years ago the company backed out of taking any more LTC policies but said they would honor the ones they have. Do I need to worry about this company honoring my policy should I need it. (I am healthy and on no meds.)

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Continental Casualty Company (CNA) was a very active participant in the long-term care insurance market when you bought your policy, Nora, and sold a lot of policies. They have been honoring and will continue to honor these policies. I’m not aware of any major problem with CNA paying claims. I just went to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners site and see that CNA’s complaint ratio is well under the national median complaint ratio. You can look as well at https://eapps.naic.org/cis/ CNA handles a lot of products so you want to search under “individual accident and health”. It sounds like you are healthy enough to add additional coverage with another carrier if you think you need more. For example, you can ask your financial professional to review your CNA policy to be sure the inflation benefit you selected is giving you the amount of coverage you need. Or, you can also add additional home care or perhaps additional facility care from a carrier that offers those benefits separately, depending on where you see yourself needing care.

  27. Pam says:

    Phyllis,
    Thank you for your service, it is greatly appreciated by so many. I would like to know if you would give me the name of a couple of ins. co. you use for LTCI. I am 59 & only take synthroid. My husband is 62 and not on any meds. We would like to look into this insurance before it is to late. Thanks, Pam

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Pam, it’s good to hear from you. You and your husband sound like excellent candidates for long-term care insurance and you are right. You should not wait any longer to look into it. If you don’t have a local professional who is knowledgeable in long-term care insurance, I will be happy to help you. I fit the insurance company to the applicant after finding out more about them. If you will please go to http://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/ and answer the questions for yourself and your husband, I’ll be back in touch with ideas. Thanks, Phyllis Shelton

  28. D Brantley says:

    I am 58 , soon to be 59 looking into LTC insurance. I’m single and have been sent a premium quote for facility, and home care from TransAmerica for less than 100$ per month w contingent nonforfiture, 3% compund inflation protection for 2 yrs. I will be able to afford this but I’m a bit skidish in the probable increases inthe cost of care over the next 20+ years. This quote started out paying a daily amount of $130. That would leave at todays’s rate ~$100 a day to pay out of pocket. I just wondering if this sounds reasonable to you or would you suggest somethign different?

    I’m in good health and take no meds at this time.

    Thanks

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      You are right in thinking the cost of care will continue to increase and in my opinion, it will increase more in the neighborhood of 5% a year, not 3%. When you consider the premium between 5% and 3% compound, you need to compare the difference you will pay in premium over the next 25-30 years vs. the difference you will pay out of your pocket at claim time. I have just posted the article “Long-Term Care Insurance: A Priceless Equation” under LTCi Benefits on this site to help people do that. I think you will find there is no comparison. In 30 years, the benefits with 3% compound are usually about half of what they would have been with 5% compound. Whatever you do, do it now while you can qualify for the preferred health discount. I see that going away with some carriers already.

  29. Mrs. Welch says:

    I found you through Suze Orman and I’m in the process of ordering your Two
    Volume Set on Long Term Care Insurance. I’ll e-mail you later, because I do
    want to purchase LTC Ins. soon. I’ll read the books so I’ll have more specific
    questions.
    Thank You!

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      so glad to hear from you Mrs. Welch. Planning for long-term care is essential for every American! We are here for you if you do not have a knowledgeable long-term care insurance professional. Just go to the Q&A tab on the site under “Contact Us” and answer those questions for us when you are ready for your personal consultation.

  30. Nel M says:

    I found your web site in Suze Ormans book. I am 61 years young and would like to know how much coverage do I really need if my income is limited. I am on a fixed income, widow and not working. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which dosent bother me to much now, but I know in the future I will need help and I dont want to burden my two sons or their wives. I am totally debt free and own a small modest home and car.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      so glad you contacted me – will you answer these questions please?

      Birthdate and age:

      Spouse/partner (if applicable) birthdate and age:

      Any pending surgery?

      Prescription medication:
      -name of drug
      -dosage
      -frequency
      -reason you are taking it
      -any change in how it is prescribed in the last six months?

      Do you have any other long-term care insurance coverage? If so, please have the policy benefits available if you wish to have a follow-up call to discuss coverage.

      Where do you live now and do you intend to retire there? If not, where do you think you might retire?

  31. Donna R. says:

    I would like to get LTC but so far have been unable and I’m hoping you know someone who would insure me. I have been diagnosed with benign sensory MS. Everyone as soon as they hear “MS” say I’m not qualified. This type however, is a rare type that’s almost harmless. I have the pins and needles feeling in my hands and feet, imbalance in my walk and that’s about it. It won’t get worse from here. I take no meds for it whatsoever. I do have high cholesterol and low thyroid, both of which are controlled with meds. Is there any way I can get LTC. I’m 56 and in relatively good shape except for the MS. Any help you can give me is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Donna – I just wanted to say again that I’m sorry I couldn’t find a carrier to help you. I will mention one other idea. There is a company that will sell a plan to a healthy person and that person’s spouse or partner who is otherwise uninsurable is able to get a plan that will pay 60% of the healthy partner’s benefit while the healthy partner is on claim. This is called a contingent insured benefit. I’m doing this with some friends of mine as the wife is totally uninsurable. Let me know if you want more info on that. Thanks, Phyllis

  32. Margaret F. says:

    I’m 66, in good health, single, & planning to retire at 70. my mother is 88 &
    has mild dementia. should I consider a facility only policy because my
    retirement income will be $1500 a month? soc sec= $900 & 401K = $500.
    home is worth $400K & is paid off except for a $50,000 equity loan.
    I have $110K in 401K & will stay in it another 4 yrs.
    thank you for this website!

  33. Carolyn S. says:

    I am a 71 year old never been married female. Would like for you to give me some advice. I do have a retirement income and am saving monthly. CC debt is $15,000 but it will be paid off by next year. The house and car are paid off. No health issues right now. Do I need to consider LTC now. Thanks for your reply. C

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Carolyn, congratulations on almost being debt-free! And you’re in good health…the two together make you a truly blessed person. I’ll give you a short answer and a long answer to your question. The short answer is if you are going to consider long-term care insurance, now is certainly the time because your health could change at any time. That’s true for any age. I love to say that money pays for long-term care insurance but health buys it. Once you have a significant health problem, no amount of money can buy this insurance product. Now the long answer is wrapped around “do you need long-term care insurance?” For that, I have a list of questions for you to consider: 1) do you have dementia in your family? 2) longevity? I can tell you that 2/3 of LTCi claims are paid on women. The funny thing about long-term care is sometimes the better we take care of ourselves, the more LTC we need. Why? Because we don’t have a heart attack or massive stroke or develop cancer – we just wear out, and the healthier we are, the longer that can take!
      3) If you do need care, how do you see that happening? 24 hour home care is expensive – well over $300 a day and much higher in some parts of the country. Sometimes a really high-end assisted living facility can be a better choice and much less expensive. You are probably very independent and want the best. The cost of care has tripled in the last 20 years and no reason to think it won’t triple in the next 20 years. I don’t know what your assets are, but if you think you might live to 91 years old, care will range from $15,000-$20,000 a month in most parts of the country by then. Can you pay that comfortably out of your income and savings? Do you want to? Is there someone or something you want to leave money to? . With the new combo products, you can leverage an asset 2-3X and leave it to someone if you don’t need LTC. As you can see, many considerations, including the cost of care where you live as that influences the benefits you need. If you like a private consultation, please email pennye@GotLTCi.com to select a time, and I can customize my answer for you.

  34. Linda R. says:

    I got your name from Suze Ormans book. I am interested in possibly getting
    LTC insurance. I don’t know who to contact . We are currently in Washington DC
    but will be moving to North Carolina in the near future. We (spouses) are both
    59 years of age. Can you help us to know what we need and can afford?
    Any help would be appreciated. Thank-you for your attention to this letter.

    Sincerely,
    Linda R.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      I’ll be glad to help you, Linda, as it sounds like you don’t have a local agent. How exciting that you are headed for North Carolina…definitely my favorite state next to Tennessee! Your premium will be less for receiving care in North Carolina than Washington DC so nothing wrong with that, right? Just gather the information listed on the “Contact us” page on this site to help me figure out what you and your husband need, and contact Pennye@GotLTCi.com to set up a time to talk with me for about 15-20 minutes. Let’s get your husband on the call too so he hears everything. Congratulations for seeking this critical information on how to plan for LTC, Linda!

  35. Lucy C. says:

    I saw the huge bills created as my mother got sick and ultimately died. Now, it absolutely terrifies me that one day I might be in that same position. I hope you can shed some light on a way to get LTC insurance if your are not financially well off. (I am single with no kids.)

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Lucy. It’s especially difficult for single women to contemplate being alone without adequate care as we age. The type of policy that could work best for you would be a facility only policy. It pays for assisted living facilities as well as full scale nursing facilities. It doesn’t pay for home care, but a single person who needs enough care to qualify to receive benefits from a long-term care insurance policy usually can’t stay home very long without needing more home care than the policy can pay. It can also be difficult to manage your medication, cook for yourself, clean your home, mow your lawn, etc. Being socially isolated can lead to depression as well.

      A facility only policy costs significantly less than a plan that pays for home care which is called a comprehensive policy. I would rather see you use your precious premium dollars to buy enough coverage to stay in a really nice assisted living facility instead of diluting them to pay for home care which you may never use. The other tremendous advantage of being able to have assisted living care is that you have a personal unit for privacy but you can mingle with others, which often prevents the depression that can occur when living alone and not being able to get all the help you need to not only take care of yourself, but your home as well.

      With further knowledge of your personal situation, I may be able to offer you some options. Please email Pennye@GotLTCi.com to set up a personal consultation with me.

  36. velma p. says:

    I just ordered your books; however I would like to know if you are a partner in a business can you pay lump sums on a policy and have this deducted.

    velma

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Congratulations on taking the step to order my books! The answer to your question is “yes, to a point”. It depends on what type of business it is. If you are an owner in a C-corporation, the most you can deduct safely without getting into a gray area with the IRS is a plan that will be paid up in 10 years (the insurance lingo is a “10-Pay”). There are other limited plans that are paid up in 20 years or by age 65. A single premium (which is almost non-existent today) could raise a red flag to the IRS.

      If you are a business owner in the self-employed group (sole proprietor, partnership, an LLC which stands for Limited Liability Corporation, or greater than 2% owner of an S-corp), you can deduct an age-based amount of premium as part of the self-employed health insurance deduction on Line 29 of IRS Form 1040. This amount generally increases each January. The table is on the inside cover of my big book, Long-Term Care: Your Financial Planning Guide, and you can real the detail of all available tax incentives for long-term care insurance on pp. 18-26 in Chapter One. The nice thing about this tax incentive is that it also applies to your spouse if you are married.

      If you have employees, 100% of their premium is deductible as a business expense, just like health insurance, and that deduction also includes spouses. So now that I’ve saved you money by showing you how part or all of your long-term care insurance premium is deductible, you can use the savings to be sure you have the best inflation benefit you can afford Pages 20-24 in The ABC’s of Long-Term Care Insurance will tell you clearly how to choose that benefit!

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