LTC Bullet: "I Don't Need LTCi . . . I Have VA"
July 13, 2005
Comment: Can veterans ignore the
risk and cost of long-term care because the VA promises to take care of them?
Not according to this son of a WWII vet.
BULLET: "I DON'T NEED LTCI . .
. I HAVE VA"
Comment: Over the years, we've
published 16 items in these pages warning veterans not to count on the
Department of Veterans Affairs or America's generosity to fund their long-term
care. Members of the Center can
find the archive of those publications at http://www.centerltc.com/members/veterans/main.htm
yet a member? No problem.
Call or email Damon at 206-283-7036 or email@example.com,
let him know your check's in the mail or you've subscribed online at http://www.centerltc.com/support/index.htm
, and he'll immediately give you a user name and password.
And the very next day, you'll also begin receiving our daily LTC
here's one more item to add to your list of reasons why not to rely on VA for
LTC. Instead of a government report
or an academic article, this time we quote an angry and impassioned son of a
World War II-veteran Dad. Here's
for LTC: Not for My Dad or Yours
generation of Americans that defended our country in WWII has been called the
"greatest generation" because of the sacrifices they made for our
families and our country. They did
not need contracts and attorneys because their word was good enough.
Today, when they find out how the government has reneged on its promises,
they just deny that could be true.
of our vets still think the government's word on long-term care is good.
They cannot imagine the government would take a Social Security check and
apply it against a Medicaid nursing home bill.
A man once told me, "My government would never do a thing like
father had a 15 percent disability from his service in WWII. He got his hand caught in a gun on the USS American Legion
and the permanent disability resulted. According
to Dad, he was entitled to VA benefits because of his disability.
He served in overseas more than six months.
Around 1964, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
He was in and out of nursing homes until it consumed all his cash. He then qualified as an indigent for VA benefits.
His 15 percent disability qualified him for "aid and attendance at
home." Helping him at his
low-income apartment was less expensive for the VA than having him on a ward
each day. The VA was coming through
just as advertised.
years ago, when he needed medical care following surgery, he could stay at the
VA medical unit for months at a time. The
nurses were fantastic; the doctors were something else.
The MS affected his right side. His
right leg had atrophied to the size of a thin arm.
One of his doctors authorized surgery to remove a corn from the side of
his right foot. His circulation was
very poor, and the small incision grew to the size of a fifty-cent piece. We
could see the bone in his foot.
doctor noted that the healing was not progressing as well as they thought it
would. He felt that an amputation
would be necessary, since gangrene was imminent.
We asked, "Why did you operate on a foot that had poor circulation
for 15 years and the toes were marble gray?" His comment was, and I quote, "Because we can."
When we checked the file, we found that the doctor had approved surgery
without seeing my father during the previous 60 days.
That amputation was the beginning of the end.
years my father was told by the Service Officers at the American Legion, and
many of the personal at the VA, who were his friends, that when the time came,
he could come up to the long-term care unit and stay.
"Just let us know, and we will have a bed for you."
Dad was proud he would get care because of his service to his country.
the time came, he called for fulfillment of that promise. Since I had just read the VA Handbook, "Department of
Veterans Affairs Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," I asked the
VA how long they would keep him. I
was aware of VA budget cut backs and knew about the "pecking order"
for long-term care. I was asked
what I meant by that question. I
repeated my question. They
replied..."about 6 months." I
asked why six months when the military told my father that the VA would be
taking care of him for a lifetime? Why
6 months now when he could stay longer 10 years ago?
Where would he go after six months?
They said they would send him to one of the local nursing homes,
"means test" him, and qualify him for Title 19 or Welfare.
knew this would be hard for him to understand and would break his heart.
He believed the Government would always stand by its word and keep its
promises, as he had done for them. I
asked the VA why they would do that to a Vet?
They said it allows them to put him on other government money (Federal
and State) and use the VA- budgeted money for other Veterans.
I asked that the VA Administration tell him about going to a local
nursing home as a welfare case since they broke the promise.
They asked me if they could wait on that.
Fortunately for them, he passed away from infection from the surgery
before the 6 months time line came along.
have learned first hand how the government works.
I have seen how they made good on their care promises, until the money
got tight. Now it appears the
Vietnam Vets will get the short straw for the care they were promised as well.
asked a local VA Administrator why they would not inform the vets about how the
system works, so they could insure what they had rather than go through the
spend-down process. He said they do
get the information out there, but quite frankly, no one believes them.
Everyone assumes that they will be the one who receives the care as
promised to them all over 50 years ago. They
were promised care as payment for services given.
Today, there are vets out there who still rely on that promise.
They will say to me that I should not worry for them when I talk about
long-term care insurance, "I have VA!"
I use our firsthand story to inform and give advice.
The VA, up to the last 10 years, took care of the Vets, as promised.
Do not, under any circumstances, rely on them today.
I don't care what they promise if you are not service-connected disabled.
Get a copy of the current edition of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents.
Check out the section on Health-Care Benefits and Nursing Home Care.
Please, pass it on to a Vet who still believes in the promise.
He has earned the right to know.
Bosley sold Long-Term Care Insurance for 25 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska.
Today, he works with the Dean L. Wilde Agency, Inc. and the American
Senior Network in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, brokering Long-Term Care contracts
and other senior products to individual agents and large insurance agencies
across the country.
7 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE LTC INSURANCE.
So reports Jesse Slome of Sales Creators, Inc.
That's a milestone worth noting. But just to put it in context:
There are 26,549,704 veterans in the United States and
Puerto Rico according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (http://www.va.gov/vetdata/Census2000/index.htm).
Only a fraction of them have private long-term care
insurance, although most of them should not count on the VA or Medicaid to pay
for their care when the time comes.
If you are part of, or would like to become part of, the
"army" of agents trying to protect Americans against the risk and cost
of long-term care, you should consider attending:
2005 National LTCi Producers Summit; October 16-18, 2005; at the Crown Center
Westin, Kansas City, MO. Check out
the details here: http://www.ltcsales.com/2005summit.