Should I Obtain Long-Term Care Insurance For My Parents or Adult Children?

Only if your lifestyle is important to you.

Of all of the messages you’ve read over the past few weeks about your new group long-term care insurance plan, this one may be the most important. Becoming a primary caregiver overnight can alter your lifestyle dramatically. Consider this simulated “real-life” situation:


Bob and Mary work full time.  With two children in college and one in high school, that’s understandable!  They are keeping up just fine, until Mary’s father who has always been in good health, has an unexpected stroke.  After a short hospital stay, he is admitted to a skilled nursing facility to help him recover from the stroke.  Mary can’t believe it when she learns that Medicare and his Medicare supplement stop paying after about five weeks of care in the skilled nursing facility, after which her father has stabilized.  In fact, he is recovered enough to stay home as long as there is someone around.  He waits anxiously for Mary to take him home.

• Will Mary quit her full-time job to care for her father?

• Will she go part-time?  Now the expenses that she and Bob must meet are greater because elder care needs are

added to college tuition needs.

The answer to the question in the title of this article is “Absolutely, yes, positively, even if you have to pay the premium.”  Paying the premium is much less expensive than providing the care yourself or paying someone else to provide it at upwards of $4,500 per month or more. The exception to this is if your parents have less than $100,000 in assets not counting their home and car, they may be able to qualify for Medicaid, but their choices for care will be very slim.  That’s why many children pay the premium so their parents won’t be confined to the limited choices offered by the Medicaid system. It’s also why some parents buy policies on their “20-somethings” if they know that adult child will become their responsibility in the event of a head injury or other traumatic event.

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