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Long-term Care Insurance

The so-called “sandwich baby boomers” are those unfortunate yet gracious individuals finding themselves caring for two different generations at the same time—their children and their parents.

The problem with this scenario is simple: who is taking care of the baby boomer? Who is making sure they have enough for their own retirement? One of the ways to avoid this situation is through proper planning, such as making sure there is long-term care insurance.

What is long-term care insurance?
Though a somewhat new concept, long-term care insurance is just like any other insurance policy. The insured makes premium payments to an insurance company in return for the company’s promise to pay for specific coverage—in this case, nursing home costs.

Who needs it?
According to Dan Sheets, owner of Kentucky Insurance World, the person who needs LTC insurance is “the individual who wishes to preserve whatever savings they have accumulated for retirement.” With nursing home costs skyrocketing, the danger is that baby boomers will have to exhaust their savings to pay for health care costs. “There is no magic dollar amount of how much you need,” Sheets says, “but a policy that protects and pays for at least two to three years should be minimum.”

What should I look for in a policy?
There is more to look for in a policy than just the cost of premiums. “The two most important things to look for are the commitment the company has in the long-term care industry, and the purchasing of an inflation rider,” Sheets says. The inflation rider allows the policy benefits to grow and keep pace with rising health care costs.



CLOSE TO HOME

Average cost of private nursing home room in Kentucky ___________ $162.41 a day or $59,279.65 a year (based on Medicaid Kentucky rate).

Number of Kentucky
nursing homes ___________ 308

Number of Kentucky
cities with nursing homes ___________ 176
(There is a nursing home in every county in Kentucky.)

Number of nursing
homes for veterans __________ 3

Source: Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities. For more information, go to www.kahcf.org.

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