Long Term Care Insurance- Some Useful Pubs/Resources

For those of you thinking about getting long-term care insurance…..

Over the last week, I’ve been looking into LTC insurance for my husband and myself. Local support group member Karen D. gave me some good materials on the subject, and I’ve found a few of my own. I thought I would pass on a list of the publications I recommend reviewing and resources available, in case some of you are thinking about getting this type of insurance:

“Taking Care of Tomorrow: A Consumer’s Guide to Long-Term Care,” CA Dept of Aging. This excellent booklet gives lots of useful statistics about long term care generally. Their website says: “To receive a free copy of this publication, you may contact Steve Miars, Department of Aging, at (916) 323-4356.”

The CA Dept of Aging brochure talks about the “California Partnership for Long-Term Care,” which is a program between CA and some insurance companies. The program takes into account MediCal. There’s good info on this program online at www.dhs.ca.gov/cpltc/. That website also lists the six insurance companies currently participating in the program. Note that not all policies from a participating insurer are CA Partnership for LTC policies.

“Do You Need Long-Term-Care Insurance,” Consumer Reports, Nov 2003, page 20+. This is an excellent article. One of the items Consumer Reports tells you to do is to go to www.ambest.com (or another financial rating company) to learn the financial strength of any insurance company you are considering.

“LTC Insurance May Not Be Worth Your Money,” Wall Street Journal, 10/9/03. This short article talks about the Consumer Reports study. It also provides the insurance industry’s response to the study. You can purchase this article for $5 from www.wsj.com.

“Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance,” America’s Health Insurance Plans, last revised July ’04. This excellent brochure describes how these policies work. There’s a very helpful “Long-term care policy checklist” on pages 14-15. You can read this publication online at: ahip.org/content/default.aspx?bc=41|329|450.

“A Shopper’s Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance,” National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Oct ’02. You can order a free copy by calling 816/842-3600, asking for “Publications,” and leaving your name and address in a phone message. You can also order a free copy online at: external-apps.naic.org/insprod/Consumer_info.jsp.

“The Lowdown on Long-Term Care Insurance,” Elder Law News, Summer 2003. You can read this short publication online at: www.elderlawanswers.com/ElderLawNews/Summer-2003.pdf.

The consumer advocate Clark Howard, who has a show on Cox Radio, also has a website providing his advice on a range of subjects. The LTC insurance info is at: clarkhoward.com/shownotes/category/9/327/. He lists six insurance companies on his honor roll of those with a good financial rating: clarkhoward.com/topics/LTC_list.html. Four companies receive an honorable mention. If you were going to get quotes from three insurance companies, you might consider three of the six on his honor roll.

Good luck!