Problems with long-term care insurance

By March 30, 2011Uncategorized

We spoke last time about an article from Time Magazine that extensively covered some of the long-term health care issues that you may encounter while caring for elderly parents in AZ.  A big portion of the article was devoted to the problems that long-term health care insurance is fraught with, which are problems worth discussing here.  By coming to terms with what long-term health care insurance really offers, you may gain a better idea of whether you or your family member should engage in ALTCS planning to prepare to apply for Arizona Medicaid.

While it is no secret that long-term health care insurance can be difficult or costly to obtain, many people are still unclear on the precise issues that arise with these policies.  The following describes some of the problems that people may find:

  • An insurer might charge premiums for decades, but only pay a defined benefit that is not enough to cover all of an individual’s long-term health care needs.
  • An insurer might increase premiums until they are no longer affordable for policyholders.  For instance, some major providers of long-term health care insurance recently increase premiums on existing policies by as much as 40 percent.
  • Some insurers have stopped selling these products altogether, which will make it even that much more difficult to obtain an affordable policy in the future.
  • An insurer might deny claims for something that a policyholder believed to fall under the rubric of long-term health care.

These four points ultimately lend credence to the idea that obtaining long-term health care insurance is difficult for the average consumer.  Unless you are relatively young and healthy, and have the means to afford expensive premiums, you will probably be unable to obtain a good long-term health care insurance policy.  Of course, this does not mean that you are entirely without options.

Another way to obtain coverage for long-term health care, as you probably know, is by qualifying for Arizona Medicaid.  To qualify for this benefit, however, you must meet strict Arizona Medicaid eligibility requirements.  The good news, though, is that even if you do not presently qualify for this benefit, you may be able to engage in ALTCS planning with an Elder Law attorney to qualify at some future date.