Long-Term Care: Better to be Safe Than Sorry

As you enter your “golden years,” perhaps you imagine yourself traveling, visiting grandchildren, or pursuing a favorite hobby. Unfortunately, none of us can predict what the future may bring. But, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will ultimately require some form of long-term care (LTC). LTC refers to a wide range of medical, rehabilitation, personal care, and social services, whether in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or at home, for those who need assistance due to an illness or disability. If you should need LTC at some point, your world could change significantly, affecting not only your quality of life, but your finances, as well. For example, the national average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is more than $200 per day, which may be higher or lower in certain parts of …

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DOL Proposes Changes to AHP Rules

President Donald Trump issued an executive order last year to expand access to association health plans (AHP). The Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the U.S. Labor Department, recently issued proposed rule changes that would help expand AHPs under the Affordable Care Act. It’s an effort to help provide more options for small employers looking for other insurance plans besides the small group health insurance market, which has been plagued with higher prices and fewer coverage options. “Association health plans are typically offered as packaged insurance programs to employers within a certain geographic region, such as from local chambers of commerce, or industry, such as statewide trade associations as a benefit of membership of the association,” says Chris Wolpert, managing member and employee benefits adviser at Group Benefit Solutions, an employee benefits management firm. Expanding the rules could mean changes for the insurance industry. Here’s what you need to know. …

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A Short Lesson on Whole Life & Term Life Insurance

When faced with the wide range of life insurance coverage available, you may wonder what type fits your needs now and what coverage you should consider for future needs. A good first step is to look at two basic types of insurance coverage: whole life and term life. Whole Life Insurance—Cash Value for Your Dollar Whole life insurance helps to provide not only security from financial hardship in the case of a death, but also a cash value component of the policy. Under a cash value life insurance policy, premium payments cover the cost of pure insurance coverage first, including the expenses and mortality factors of the insurance company; the insurance company then accumulates “leftover” dollars to build the cash value of the policy. In addition to cash value buildup in the policy, some insurance companies may provide whole life insurance policyholders with dividend payments—due to lower expenses, lower mortality …

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A Look at Medicaid

For an increasing number of families, long-term care planning is becoming a topic discussed with an unfortunate frequency. When a once healthy and vibrant person needs full-time care—either suddenly or through the ravages of a progressive illness—staggering pressures can bear down on that person, their immediate family, and close friends. One of the first and most natural questions that comes to mind is the question of cost: Where will the money come from to allow the individual to live out the rest of his or her life in the most comfortable situation possible? For a fortunate few, long-term care insurance will provide the necessary funds. For others, the savings of a lifetime can be depleted in a relatively short period of time without proper planning. At some point, the discussion of funding care will no doubt turn to Medicaid, a difficult topic to deliberate when combined with the stress of …

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