FAQ Category Archive: Consumer

How can Medicaid be the biggest threat to our economy when we are literally spending $700 billion per year on defense, most of it privatized? That’s more than half our national budget. Isn’t the US military boondoggle a bigger threat? S.C. 06-10-17

Great question! I’m glad someone is reading my website!! Actually the U.S. Federal budget is $3.65 TRILLION in 2017.  Defense is the 2nd largest item after Social Security…headed for $800+ billion in 2018. https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-military-budget-components-challenges-growth-3306320 Notice I didn’t say Medicaid is the biggest budget item. I said it’s the biggest “threat” to our economy. Here’s why: The Medicaid …

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Is it better to take the cash benefit every month from my long term care policy and invest the unused portion, or is it better to leave that portion “in the policy” knowing I may never get most of it?

I think it is better to take it, but I would save it in something that is no risk. You may need a lot more care than your monthly benefit will pay at the end of your life. If you save it safely, then you will have additional money to put with your monthly benefit …

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We have had Genworth LTC for 14 years and the rate increased 3 years ago 40%. The renewal is due for this year but it has increased another 70%. When we purchased the LTC it was with GE and we have lifetime coverage, 5% compounded, home care, and spousal stop of payments. It was a good policy. Our concern is the increase is enormous and the statement included a letter that stated future increases are possible. With the credit rating down and the sale to a China company we are not sure if to continue. Your suggestion? Thanks

None of us in the industry expect Genworth to fail. The management is working very hard to ensure that every obligation is met. Also, Genworth has a great track record with claims payments. On the rate increases, yes, there will be more. The first thing I advise is comparing the premium you have already paid …

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My sister has been on claim with waiver of premium for some time and is unable to care for herself. Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania reinstated her premium four months ago and won’t respond to a letter from her doctor as to why. She has an unlimited benefit period. What recourse do we have? S.W. 033017

YES, you definitely need to take action! The first thing is to file a complaint with the Policyholder Service division of the insurance dept in your sister’s state. You can find it here http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm If that doesn’t work, then go to an elder law attorney, Here are two sites: www.elderlawanswers.com and https://www.naela.org/ Hope this helps. …

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I have a long term care policy with Penn Treaty. I live in Georgia. I’m planning on moving to Colorado. since Penn Treaty is insolvent, am I still covered if I move to Colorado? TM 3-23-17

Your claim will still be paid wherever you live in the U.S, based on the state guaranty fund for that state.  Here is the link to Colorado and the amount is $300K for LTC insurance. http://www.colifega.org/  (Answer #7 under FAQ) Georgia is also $300K for LTC insurance.  (Answer #8 under FAQ) Here’s the link for Penn Treaty FAQ http://www.penntreaty.com/Liquidation/LiquidationQuestions.aspx

Today (12/2016) what is the best inflation rate to purchase? Obviously the more the better but what would be a good rate for the average person? 3 or 4? Is 3 even worth it? I have a Mutual of Omaha plan offered at $3900 for 3% and $4500 for 4%. Is that $600 difference worth it? Kim

Hi Kim – I’m so glad you contacted me because this is the most important decision you will make about your LTC insurance plan. Just so happened, my latest blog explains my formula of figuring out how much coverage you need in 20 or 30 years depending on your age, then figuring out how to …

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I live in the San Francisco Bay area and have a LTCI policy with CNA, effective 1/1/2011 (purchased under the Roche group policy). My current monthly premium is $2014.16. My premiums are slated to go up 70% in Aug 2016 ($347.08), and an additional 15% in Aug 2017 ($399.14) (total 95%). My policy benefits include: Daily benefit – $290, Lifetime Max $529,250. Includes inflation and worldwide coverage. Based on the amount of increase and CNA’s track history of denying claims, I am trying to decide whether to keep CNA or move to another LTC provider.

Please do not cancel your CNA policy. It looks like you have paid about $14,500 in premium so far. Using the 2017 premium of $399 a month, if you pay another 20 years without having a claim, you will pay about $96,000 plus the $14,500, so $110,500.  If you have 5% compound inflation, your benefit …

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I have a LTCi policy from CNA. I have been paying for it many years. I am retired ( age 69 ) and want to find out more about my policy. I can write the Company to get policy particulars, bit I am wondering if these policies can be cashed in.

No, your policy can’t be cashed in, but why would you want to do that, just as you may be needing it in a few years? I’m happy to report that CNA has a brand new claims management team who are 100% committed to improving the overall service of CNA, and especially to make sure …

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My husband and I have LTC policies (5 year) through Genworth. Genworth has been in the news lately because of its financial problems resulting from LTC policies. The company obviously misjudged the cost to them. If the company is unable to honor its policy obligations, what are the alternatives for us? Does the State of Wisconsin have some form of coverage for LTC insurance policies similar to financial institution deposit insurance provided by the FDIC?

Every state has a state guaranty fund which is designed to help policyholders of failed companies. You can see how it works and specifically how it works in your state here: https://www.nolhga.com/policyholderinfo/main.cfm. None of us in the industry expect Genworth to fail. The management is working very hard to ensure that every obligation is met. …

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Do I have to sell my house to get the VA to pay for nursing home care?

To get the VA to pay for his nursing home care, the typical qualification is based on whether or not the veteran’s condition is a result of a service-connected injury, not on finances. A couple does not have to sell their house, even if the veteran winds up applying for Medicaid. It depends on what …

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