SOURCE: American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 22, 2014) - Real life examples of ways people reduced costs when purchasing long term care insurance protection or secured significantly better benefits have been published.
"There are significant differences between long term care insurance policies, pricing, acceptable health conditions and benefits that few consumers are aware of," explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national trade group. "For example, one insurer charges smokers 45 percent more than non smokers while another charges only 10 percent more. Many associations and membership groups promote special discounts but often you can get better coverage or even pay less if you shop around."
The Association's new online guide is designed to provide valuable information to individuals considering long term care insurance protection. "Every year some 250,000 people shop for long term care insurance protection for the first time," Slome notes. "Unlike car insurance or even most life insurance policies which are pretty easy to compare, long term care insurance policies can be quite distinctive. Your first decision is finding an expert who understands the differences and works on your behalf to recommend the best coverage for the least cost from a high-quality company."
"Much of the information about long term care insurance online is out-of-date and sometimes even erroneous," Slome adds. "To educate consumers and create heightened awareness we share current examples of real-life situations."
One example in the new guide tells how a Texas couple's financial planner was not familiar with the State-approved Long Term Care Partnership plan or the 'shared care' benefit that is especially valuable for married couples. Their financial planner recommended coverage costing $2,510-per year but the specialist showed how this couple could get coverage from the same insurer and pay $1,674-yearly, a 33 percent savings, the guide cites.
Existing health conditions account for up to 40 percent of policy applicants being declined for coverage according to AALTCI. "Insurers will check your medical records so don't expect to sneak by," Slome says. "But health conditions that are not acceptable to one insurer may be completely acceptable to another."
The Association guide shares how one man's heart condition did not prove a barrier. "In this case, the long term care insurance specialist had a direct channel to the insurance company decision maker who agreed to review the medical records," Slome adds. "Insurers get hundreds of applications daily and being able to get the special attention made all the difference."
How To Select A Long Term Care Insurance Specialist
The Association suggests three questions when seeking to identify long term care insurance expertise. How long has the individual been selling long term care insurance? "A minimum of three years is suggested, though five or more is going to be better," Slome notes. How many policies have they sold? "A long term care insurance specialist will have helped at least 100 individuals get coverage, though many will have helped 500 plus," he adds.
Most important, according to Slome, is determining if the financial advisor or insurance agent is appointed with multiple insurance companies. "Appointed is insurance jargon which means they can actually sell that company's policy," Slome explains. "Agents are only going to recommend and tell you about policies they can ultimately sell."
For no-cost advice or to compare long term care insurance costs and policies connect with a designated specialist by calling the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance at (818) 597-3227 or visit the organization's website.
To read the Association's Guide To Reducing Long Term Care Insurance Costs visit www.aaltci.org/ideas.