LTC Bullet: The 10 Things You Must Know About Long-Term Care

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Seattle--

LTC Comment: If LTC is such a huge risk and cost, how come people don't plan for it and what must you know to overcome their denial and get them protected? Ten key truths after the ***news.***

Today’s LTC Bullet is sponsored by ClearCert, which simplifies and streamlines the process of validating producer compliance with mandatory LTCI training requirements for its member carriers. ClearCert demystifies mandatory LTCI training for the producers of these firms through its website, which contains clear, concise regulation statements and a list of 1,000+ courses pre-certified for member carrier acceptance from its network of 80 training providers. Visit www.ClearCert.com for details or contact the membership center (info@clearcert.com or 866-653-3122 x3).


*** UNDERSTANDING BOOMERS. For decades, American Baby Boomers have been characterized as a bloc of people who think and act as one monolithic generation. However, recent data from the MetLife Mature Market Institute®, show that Young, Middle and Older Boomers grew up during disparate "eras" and are now at different stages in their lives. They should, perhaps, be treated as separate demographic groups. In both a series of Demographic Profiles and a new study, The MetLife Study of Boomers in the Middle, facts are emerging about how distinct the segments are. ***

*** MEDICARE PRIMER: The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its Medicare primer that explains key elements of the program providing health coverage to 47 million people, including 39 million seniors and another 8 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. The updated 2010 Medicare primer is available online at http://www.kff.org/medicare/7615.cfm. ***

*** LTCI GUILD NEWS. Courtesy of LTC Financial Partners (a Guild sponsor and Silver Sponsor of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform), the guidebook "3 in 4 Need More" is now available free to all LTC Guild members and site visitors. Just click on the link in the middle of the home page, near the top, and you may download the book in PDF form. Visit Long Term Care Insurance Guild at: http://ltcguild.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network. Dick Samson, LTC Guild national site administrator. ***

 

LTC BULLET: THE 10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT LONG-TERM CARE

LTC Comment: Most people look at the LTC status quo and scratch their heads:

  • Seventy percent of people over 65 will require LTC.
  • Twenty percent will require five years or more.
  • LTC is extremely expensive whether delivered in a home, NH or ALF.
  • But the public is in denial about LTC risk and few plan for it.
  • So, most with high LTC costs end up in nursing homes on welfare.

Go figure!

I've spent my professional career explaining this seeming paradox and recommending public policy changes that would resolve it. Practically everything you find in our daily e-pistles and at www.centerltc.com tells the story.

Later today I'm doing a private phone briefing for some leading LTCI producers. Prepping for the presentation, Center supporter and well-known LTCI author/trainer Marilee Driscoll asked me to boil down my analysis to the "ten facts" every producer must know.

I wish I could give you ten simple facts you could learn that would break through consumers' denial of LTC risk and get them protected with LTC coverage. Alas, it's more complicated than that, because you must first understand: (1) why the public is in denial, (2) how everything is about to change, and (3) what's coming next.

Fortunately, I can give you ten points of principle which, if you understand and apply them consistently, will help you break through consumers' veil of confusion and denial about LTC. Here they are:

  1. The public isn't in denial about LTC risk and cost out of ignorance or stupidity but because government has always paid for most expensive LTC since 1965.
  2. Nine out of 10 dollars for nursing home and home health care come from Medicaid, Medicare, VA, Social Security or other income . . . not assets!
  3. Medicaid alone crowds out 2/3 to 90% of the potential market for LTC insurance.
  4. Medicaid does not require impoverishment: all you need is income below nursing home cost plus unlimited exempt assets.
  5. Social Security and Medicare prop up Medicaid LTC and help crowd out LTCI.
  6. Social Security and Medicare have combined infinite-horizon unfunded liabilities of $107 trillion.
  7. Medicaid already has problems of access, quality, reimbursement, discrimination, institutional bias, welfare stigma and loss of independence and choice.
  8. Medicaid reimburses providers less than the cost of providing the care: $4.6 billion and $14.17 per bed day less for nursing homes.
  9. Better look at LTC through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror, because the entitlement safety net is doomed.
  10. True now but more in the future: you must pay privately to ensure access to quality LTC at the most appropriate level.

Now, if you know the field of long-term care, you probably think several--if not most--of these ten points are wrong. But, I assure you, they are not. I can't give you the whole picture, much less the proof for each point, in a single LTC Bullet.

But if you'll invest some time exploring the resources at www.centerltc.com, reading our daily LTC E-Alerts and LTC Bullets, and following our new research and reports, I can promise you this: you WILL awaken more people to the need for responsible LTC planning and you WILL help more of them get the protection they need.

For starters, read the transcript of my two-hour "LTC Graduate Seminar" here. I promise you a revelation about why LTC is the way it is, proof of the 10 points above, and greater success persuading consumers to prepare for LTC risk and cost.

But reading that 40-page document once will not suffice. Much of the analysis of long-term care is complicated and counter intuitive. Stick with us. Get our daily publications. Access our members-only website: "The Zone." Avail yourself of the extensive resources on our free public website. Give us a few minutes of your time everyday, and you WILL overcome consumer denial.

In other words, join the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, and help us "Save LTC." The annual membership fee is only $150 or $12.50 per month for individuals. Corporate members cover their employees and key producers at no extra cost. To join the Center, contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or damon@centerltc.com. He'll have you in "The Zone" momentarily.

We can do this!