July 20, 1999
John Cutler, of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explains in the July/August issue of Assisted Living Today Magazine why he personally believes Americans looking to pay for assisted living should consider long-term care insurance.
After explaining why it is unlikely that Medicaid will pay for assisted living and describing the benefits and limitations of other financing options (such as selling the home, a reverse mortgage, and accelerating or viaticating a life insurance policy), Cutler suggests several reasons to purchase long-term care insurance:
"Long-term care insurance is an option for baby boomers and others who wish to plan early for possible needs in the future....Long-term care insurance is designed specifically for taking care of long-term health needs such as moving into an assisted living facility. (Indeed many financial planners will make the purchase of long-term care insurance part of the plan.)
"With such great odds of needing care--as many as one in three Americans are likely to need some degree of significant help when they are older--it makes sense to insure against these future needs."
In a related "sidebar" feature entitled "Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?", Cutler begins:
"You wouldn't think of not having auto or homeowners' insurance, or life insurance if you have young kids. Yet one of your biggest risks is that at some point you will need care for an illness or injury that puts you out of action for a long period of time, or permanently. While many are familiar with disability insurance...long-term care insurance is available to cover illnesses or injuries that become particularly evident with age."
*Source: John Cutler, "Writing the Check," Assisted
Living Today Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 6, July/August 1999, pps. 36-39.
The article's disclaimer states, "The comments in this article
are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of the Department of Health and Human Services."