Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sixty Percent of Americans Worried About Long Term Care

Posted on July 5th, 2011 by Em-Power Services

Nearly 60% of Americans over the age of 50 are worried about the costs of long-term care, while only 16% feel prepared financially, according to a recent study supported by the insurance industry.

The study was sponsored by Sun Life Financial and conducted by Kelton Research.

The study found that almost two thirds of Americans currently do not feel financially prepared to meet the growing costs of late-in-life healthcare (regarding either in-home help, assisted living, or nursing care options) with only 16 percent of respondents actually confident they could handle these financial burdens.

According to the study, the most consistent problem mentioned when preparing for late-in-life care has been the lack of understanding most Americans have about what the true costs of said care will be. Even accounting for the most conservative estimates of inflation over the next 30 years, the average cost of long term care calculated was more than double of what respondents were expecting.

According to the Consumer Price Index, the current nursing home rate for a private room is US$85,000 and the projected rate by 2030 is US$190,000, not the mere 56 percent rise to US$125,000 most respondents anticipated. The figures also reveal that 24/7 in-home care rate will currently cost US$184,000 a year, and an estimated US$272,000 by 2030 and 40 hour a week in-home care runs US$44,000 a year, rising to $65,000 by 2030.

Sources: Excerpted from McKnight’s Long Term Care News and International Insurance News

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Applications for Long Term Care Insurance Rising

Posted on June 29th, 2011 by Em-Power Services

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance estimates that over 500,000 Americans are expected to apply for long-term care insurance this year. The number represents a significant jump over 2010.

Over eight million Americans currently have long-term care insurance protection, with roughly 200,000 receiving benefits in 2010. This is according to the 2011 AALTCI Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook.  The majority (56 percent) of individual applicants are between the ages of 55 and 64.

Jesse Slome, executive director of AALTIC stated that “consumers in their 50s and young 60s are more aware than ever of the risks involved in living into their 80s and 90s.” He adds, “people increasingly understand the need to look into this protection prior to retirement age, when costs are more affordable and you are still most likely able to health qualify for coverage.”

The Association also noted that significant growth in sales will result from the thousands of federal employees signing up for coverage through the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) where open enrollment which closed June 24.  ”I would expect tens of thousands of newly covered individuals,”  Slome adds.

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Lost Wages Significant for Long Term Care Givers

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 by Em-Power Services

A new study released this month from MetLife examines the costs to working caregivers for providing long term support to loved ones.

The costs are staggering.

The report estimates that for women (who make up the majority of long term care givers) the lost wages from working less hours amounts to $120,616, with another estimated $64,433 lost in Social Security benefits. The total estimated loss amounts to over $185,000 in lost income. If the care giver leaves the workforce altogether it’s closer to a $300,000 impact.

Since most care givers are in their 50’s, the resulting financial impacts include less money for retirement, and can mean a lessened ability to help children with major expenses such as college tuition or weddings.

Overall, the report paints a difficult picture for care givers. In addition to lost wages, the report estimates out of pocket expenses of upwards of $5k a year, increased stress, less time with family, and about 14% of women care givers having fair or poor health themselves.

The facts in the report highlight why solving the long term care situation in the U.S. is so critical at this point. The need for long term care insurance to help reduce the burden, changes in public policy (such as advocated by the “3in4 Need More” Campaign), and expanded care options with consistent quality of service are at an all time high as the Baby Boomer Generation ages.

You can download and review the full report here.

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Long Term Care Takes Toll on Employees

Posted on June 8th, 2011 by Em-Power Services

A report from Genworth Financial finds that providing long term care, without the benefit of long term care insurance, can take a toll on employees.

The report called “Beyond Dollars”, finds that the average care provider is in their early 50’s (peak earning years) and is taking care of an immediate family member for a period of about three years.

Nearly half reported a significant increase stress at home. Part of this stress may be from having to dip into family savings or retirement to help pay for care related expenses. Contributions to savings accounts were reduced by an average of 73%, and contributions to retirement were reduced by an average of 80%.

Employees also reported having repeated absences from work (33%) or working less hours (29%) to meet care commitments.

Long term care insurance reduces these stresses by providing the funds to support various types of care, including at home and/or day care (including trips to doctors).

You see the full report here.

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Congressional Research Service (CRS) Issues Report on CLASS ACT

Posted on June 2nd, 2011 by Em-Power Services

The Congress Research Service (CRS) is the non-partisan analysis office used by Congress to review issues related to legislation.

The office recently (May 13th) released a report on the cost and financing for LTC services, as well as the market for private LTC insurance.

The report also details CLASS program requirements for enrollment, premiums, eligibility, benefits, administration, and oversight as specified.

Also included are the federal budget implications of the CLASS program, concerns about long-run sustainability of the program, and a timeline and discussion of implementation issues.

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25 States See Double-Digit Rise in Policy Holders

Posted on May 25th, 2011 by Em-Power Services

The American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) reports that twenty-five states saw a double-digit jump in the number of residents with long-term care insurance policies in place.

The findings were released as part of the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance 2011 LTC Sourcebook.

The states with the highest percentage of LTC insurance policy holders include California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois. Pennsylvania and Missouri were the only states to experience a decline.

“This tells us that awareness and interest in LTC is growing rapidly,” said Doug Ross, President of EM-Power. “and will likely translate into more employees asking their worksite about LTC benefits.”

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New Data on Long Term Care Costs

Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Em-Power Services

John Hancock Releases Results of Nine Year Study

According to a John Hancock Insurance study released recently, the average cost of nursing home care in the U.S. is now $85,775 annually for a private room and $75,555 for a semi-private room.

The cost is $39,240 annually on average for an assisted living facility. And the average cost of home care is approximately $20 per hour.

Nursing home care costs nationally have risen an average 3.2 – 3.5 percent per year over the last nine years. The average cost for a home health aide has risen 1.3 percent per year.

John Hancock surveyed more than 11,000 providers in cities across the country. The study then calculated a 9-year average using data from past reports. You can see more from John Hancock here.

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3 Reasons Long Term Care Employee Education is a Good Idea

Posted on April 12th, 2010 by Em-Power Services

Options. The world is full of them. When we are young, the world is our oyster. As we age, options and opportunities dwindle. We miss the windows to set up optimum savings, life insurance or health plans, often finding we do too little, too late…often wishing we knew then what we know now.

Helping employers educate their workforce about the benefits of planning for long-term care is a critical new step in financial planning. By offering employees yet another option and educating them on the gaping hole they have in their safety net, employers earn both respect and gratitude from their workforce. Additionally, offering Long Term Care Insurance to their employees doesn’t need to cost the employer any additional money. Why should employers educate their employees about Long Term Care Insurance?

  1. Without education in the workplace, employees may not discover the long-term care dilemma until they have already developed pre-existing health issues.
  2. Premiums are fixed to a person’s age at the point of purchase; so planning young will result in paying the least amount of insurance premium over one’s lifetime.
  3. Understanding the issue and support systems available will be beneficial when a parent, friend, or other loved one needs long-term care. Employees of all ages should learn about long-term care while they are young so they understand the planning challenges they will face in the future. Like all planning, the younger people begin, the more options they will have and generally speaking, the less expensive it will be.

The good news is that with long-term care, there is an additional benefit of planning early. There is a much greater chance of being medically underwritten. When applying for long-term care insurance a person must fill out an extensive application with questions about existing health and medical prescriptions. Industry wide there is about a 30% decline rate for people that apply for coverage.

It should be noted that there are many health conditions like diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure where a person can still be approved for long-term care coverage. But what happens to those conditions as a person ages? They generally deteriorate until the point where a person can no longer be approved. Learning about long-term care while they are young provides people with an opportunity to purchase protection when they are healthiest and have the best chance of being accepted.

Even when employees don’t purchase coverage, they will understand the issue when they are dealing with a parent or friend who needs care. It’s something that is very likely to happen to us all at one point or another. Do you believe knowledge is power? How much to you know about LTCI?

EM-Power is a unique brokerage in that we:

  1. Work with employers to show them why adding LTC as a employee benefit is a win-win opportunity; and
  2. Work with brokers to teach them how to better educate their clients about LTC to create a win-win opportunity.,

If you are an employer needing help or a broker looking to help your clients with Long Term Care reach out and contact Doug Ross at 800-483-1115

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Five Reasons Employers Should Learn about Long-Term Care Insurance

Posted on February 7th, 2010 by Em-Power Services

What does your employees’ current compensation package look like? What does yours look like? There are five main reasons employers should take a few moments to understand and evaluate long-term care insurance.

  1. Long-term care insurance, or insurance that addresses the enormous gap in traditional healthcare coverage, is an often misunderstood and overlooked component in financial planning and health care protection.
  2. More than half of American workers will experience a need for long-term insurance coverage in their lifetimes and yet many of them will not realize this until it is too late.
  3. There are employer-sponsored benefit programs with significant advantages that can be implemented without any cost to your company. At the same time, business owners can selectively pay for coverage for themselves and key employees while receiving generous Federal tax deductions as part of a strategy to reward and retain your most valued people.
  4. Educating your employees on the hole that exist in their current long term financial and health planning builds goodwill toward your company.
  5. You can offer group insurance rates to your employees on a voluntary basis, meaning it does not cost your company anything to offer this protection while employees will receive coverage at a better price through you than if they were to purchase it independently.

We are happy to arm you with the questions you need to ask of your current benefit provider. Are you aware of the hole in your coverage that may leave you unprotected and financially vulnerable?

Click to request a 15-minute briefing on long-term care and how it can benefit your Company. For more information call 800-483-1115 and speak with Doug Ross.

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