Long Term Care Planning for You and Your Family

Interview with Brian Gordon, President, CLTC, MAGA, Ltd.
What sets Freedom Home Care apart from other care giving services in the North Shore?
First and foremost, they have great reputation in the area. On top of that, they can help clients facilitate the paperwork that goes along with long term care insurance, whereas a lot of agencies out there are not up to speed with that process. An agency like Freedom Home Care knows how to submit the claim forms and appropriate documentation, which really helps eliminate those headaches for the children of those receiving care services. That stands out as a huge customer service point, because that aspect can be a big challenge for families who already have a lot on their plate.
Does an LTCI policy with MAGA cover the services provided by Freedom Home Care?
Yes. As long as our clients meet the benefit triggers, they can receive financial benefits for Freedom Home Care’s services. Families who don’t carry long term care insurance may ask how to pay for it, so we often have home care providers call us to educate their customers on the plans we offer. Having long term care insurance is something we recommend to minimize out of pocket expenses for future care costs.
How do Freedom Home Care’s long term care services fit with MAGA’s company values?
At MAGA, we don’t work directly for an insurance company, so our goal is to find the best resources that make sense for our customers. When clients need help finding the right care, they ask us for advice. If something doesn’t make sense for the client from a budgetary standpoint, or if they can’t get coverage for something specific, we let them know up front. We help determine if services like in home care would be appropriate, and Freedom Home Care offers a quality program with a breadth of care options. I have referred Freedom to a few clients already, as they abide by the same careful, customer oriented philosophy that our organization does. After meeting with Francine, I knew immediately that Freedom Home Care would be a great resource for the LTCI plans we offer.
Long Term Care Planning for You and Your Family
Long term care events are a reality of life, and long term care insurance (LTCI) policies exist to help individuals preserve their assets, standard of living and independence, while allowing families to make important choices for the financial, physical and emotional well-being of loved ones.
The need for long term care—the type of care required when an individual with a health condition needs assistance with activities of daily living on a long term basis—is inevitable, and the costs are high. Costs vary across the United States, but as an example, for an individual in a major metropolitan area to receive 24/7 home care, the costs can be over $100,000 annually.
Staying in their homes is so important to many people who need long term care, and purchasing a LTCI policy is one of the easiest steps people can take when searching for a solution that will allow them, their parents or other family members to receive care at home. For example, policies often provide comprehensive coverage for homemakers, nurses’ aides, licensed practical nurses or other types of caregivers that offer in-home assistance. Coverage also can include adult day care, skilled nursing home, assisted living facilities, hospice care and the services of a care manager. The flexible nature of today’s long term care policies can help ease the considerable strain so often placed on primary caregivers.
Not only does LTCI mitigate the emotional and financial burdens that long term care can place on a family, it also can serve as a strategy that protects assets and investments. LTCI can help preserve wealth and reduce taxes and should be part of a well-designed financial plan. Also, the advantages of LTCI policies extend beyond the individual who purchases the policy. They protect entire families and allow individuals to benefit from the best care possible without worrying about spending down retirement assets.
Over the years, LTCI has provided families a strategy to help pay for LTC services.  It’s a smart, simple way for families to protect their assets and loved ones. Like most forms of health or life insurance, you will need to pass a health screening in order to qualify for coverage. For many people, a solid, basic plan does the job and provides many options for comprehensive care and peace of mind.
Long Term Care Funding Options
1. Self-Insure. Choosing to self-insure means you will pay all incurred long term care expenses out of pocket. Costs can range from $200 to $350 per day, and it is estimated that by the year 2030, the average annual cost of care for an individual will be $230,000.
2. Medicare/Medicare Supplement. If you qualify and need skilled nursing care, Medicare pays all eligible expenses for the first 20 days. Days 21 through 100 are paid after a $148 per-day co-payment (2013). A Medicare supplement will cover this co-payment. After 100 days, Medicare pays nothing.
3. Health Insurance. Traditional health insurance, including the Affordable Care Act beginning in 2014, is limited in what it will pay for long term care, and there are many gatekeepers to pass through to even qualify for benefits.
4. Long Term Care Insurance. There are two types of plans: traditional Long Term Care policies and Asset Based Life/Annuity with Long Term Care benefits.
About MAGA, Ltd.
MAGA, Ltd. Is a family-owned insurance firm specializing in long term care planning for 38 years. The firm provides unbiased educational services about planning for a long term care event in addition to providing a variety of resources and support to clients and financial professionals. MAGA has strong relationships with the Chicago Bar Association, the Financial Planning Association of Illinois, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Alliance of Cambridge Advisors and more. For more information, visit www.magaltc.com or contact Brian at brian@magaltc.com or 1-800-533-6242.
2610 Lake Cook Road, Suite 250, Riverwoods, IL60015 • www.MAGAltc.com800.533.6242 847.940.8866 • Fax: 847.940.8870