Some very good points were made in the article “Buyer beware when shopping for long-term-care insurance” [Business/Technology, Feb. 15], including the importance of understanding the coverage you have purchased.
The headline, though, misses the larger issue. These people are relying on a policy they purchased 20 years ago.
Coverage on newer policies is vastly improved due to competition in the insurance industry and protections demanded by various insurance commissioners. When I take on a new client, I review all previously issued life, long-term care, disability and annuity contracts in addition to their investment portfolios.
I review with the client her or his existing coverage and how he or she might be better covered by exchanging it for a new, more comprehensive policy. For example, in Washington state, most all new long-term-care policies pay for qualified in-home care, whereas many older contracts pay only for care provided in a licensed facility.
Additionally, most new contracts in Washington protect assets equal to the amount of long-term-care coverage from the “spend down” that is required before Medicaid will cover a person. This can protect the spouse of the claimant from outright destitution.
Please, have your older insurance and annuity contracts reviewed. Many financial advisers will do this at no charge.
Brian Wright, Seattle