First Line of Defense: Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care Insurance can save your estate.
By: Douglas L. Kaune, Esquire 610 933 8069

Douglas L. Kaune

I meet with clients in my elder law practice at every level of the Medicaid and Nursing Home asset protection process. I am able to see the relief that husbands, wives and other family members have when there is long term care insurance in place. I know the annual insurance premium can be a burden, but I also know the annual cost of nursing home care can exceed $100,000!! I have come to look at the long term care insurance purchase as an investment rather than a pure expense. Take a look at this recent Blog Article on the Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees Estate Planning Site for more information and additional insight.

At this point in time, the cost of long term care is rising at a greater clip than that of a college education.  I have traditionally dealt with clients who wanted to protect their estates from taxes.  Although that is still true, nursing home costs are now the “taxes” that the members of the middle class are planning for.  It is certainly possible, and I have seen it happen, that a nice sized estate of $1,000,000 can be completely used up to pay for long term care costs of a husband or wife, mother or father.  In fact, I just had someone come to me after their mother died.  She told me that her mother spent $1.1 million dollars in a nursing home over 12 years.  She finally exhausted her assets, qualified for Medicaid and passed away 2 months later.  That is a painful testimonial to why people purchase long term care insurance and do elder law planning.

It is important for you and your family to start planning well in advance of the need for care.  Please consider the purchase of some level of long term care coverage.  The care coverage and the premiums vary greatly, so find a qualified advisor who can assist.  Although I do not have any affiliation with any advisors and do not sell long term care insurance, I can suggest advisors in Pennsylvania who have assisted other clients in the past.  Please let me know if I can help in this regard.

If you or family members have some level of long term care coverage, the coverage will provide the obvious benefit of paying for some period or some portion of the long term care that you or a family member needs.  However, it provides the additional benefit of establishing a possible buffer period during which elder law planning can be executed.  This buffer period, during which the long term care policy is paying for care, can allow for more aggressive elder law planning such as gifting of assets to a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust.

It is well worth your time to explore the long term care insurance options available to you, your spouse and your family.  If possible, purchase the insurance coverage to provide security and piece of mind into the future.

Douglas L. Kaune, Esquire is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and Partner with the full service law firm of Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees, P.C. Offices are located in Malvern, Phoenixville and West Chester and also serving Philadelphia and other towns in Chester County, Montgomery County (Norristown), Delaware County (Media), Bucks County, Berks County, Philadelphia County Pennsylvania (PA).