Posts Tagged ‘Financial planning’

Long-Term Care Costs Outpace Medical Inflation Rate

Posted on October 26th, 2011 by Em-Power Services

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that the average cost for assisted living rose 5.6 percent to $41,724 this year, compared with a 5.2 percent increase last year.

The report comes from data contained in a report by MetLife’s Mature Market Institute released this week.  That report found the cost for a private nursing-home room increased 4.4 percent to $87,235 a year and adult day services climbed 4.5 percent to $70 a day. Home health-aide service was unchanged at about $21 per day.

Of particular concern is that the report finds that this year’s increases are greater than previous years. A MetLife representative noted that, “the state of the economy, combined with rising health-care and energy costs, are having a significant impact on long-term care rates… Long-term care rates continue to outpace the medical inflation rate.”

Federal Government options for supporting the costs associated with long-term are limited. The Obama Administration recently decided not to move forward with a public long-term care financing option called the Class Act. Medicare covers only short-term nursing and home health services.

“This is why the employer is central in the long-term care equation,” noted Em-Power Services President Doug Ross. “Without long-term care insurance, future retirees are going to face a financial crisis where they spend all of their savings and retirement to pay for long-term care.”

An employer that offers group long-term care insurance as a benefit can help employees protect their savings and retirement. It’s estimated that one of two people age 65 and older will require some form of long-term care. The average length is three years, and costs can exceed $250,000.

Many states offer additional tax deductions for employers who offer long-term care insurance as a benefit.

Tags: , , , , , , | Filed under: Retirement, Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

Planning for the “New” Retirement

Posted on July 19th, 2011 by Em-Power Services

An article published Associated Press writer David Carpenter takes an excellent look at how financial requirements.

Carpenter notes that big changes are coming to Medicare coverage by 2014, and that it’s now essential to include prospective health care costs in retirement planning. He recommends that retirees consider buying “Medigap” insurance and that “pre-retirees should consider buying long-term care insurance”. The reason is that a three year stay in a nursing home facility currently runs about $250,000 and will only increase.

Planning for heath care costs becomes even more important when you factor in some other issues about the “new” retirement.

First, notes Carpenter, is that retirees don’t spend less like they used to. With more active retirements now the norm, spending on travel, hobbies, and leisure activities has increased dramatically. He also notes that retirees won’t automatically be in a lower tax bracket.

Carpenter believes tax rates are likely to increase both at the Federal and state levels. He also makes the point that many retirees have paid off their mortgage, which removes those tax deductions. Some long-term care insurance policies offer tax deductions at the Federal and state levels, depending on where you live.

The point Carpenter drives home is that retirement isn’t what it used to be. Not only are we living longer more active, longer retirements, but we’re increasingly likely to need health at various points during this time in our lives, including potentially long-term care. Those who are planning for retirement need to think about how those health care needs will be managed without depleting savings.

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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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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.

Tags: , , , , , , | Filed under: Class Act, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

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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Three Reasons Knowledge is Power Concerning Long Term Care

Posted on March 26th, 2010 by Em-Power Services

You know knowledge is power. We believe that so strongly, it is in our company name. At EM-Power we provide education to employers about a massive hole in their benefit program that affects every business owner, executive and employee; a hole many people live on the edge of their entire lives and don’t even know is there.

We’ve identified the three main reasons this occurs, and are committed to helping people foresee the danger to their financial well being before it is too late for them to rectify the problem. So what are the misconceptions out there and why?

  1. Most people think long-term care is covered by their health insurance plan. Traditional health insurance simply is not designed to pay for long-term care and people generally don’t come to realize their gap in coverage until they’ve fallen through it. Unfortunately at that point, there is no way to turn back the hands of time to safeguard themselves.
  2. People incorrectly assume the government will take care of them. In reality, most people don’t understand the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, or that they need to sacrifice their 401k and savings before the government program they thought was at their disposal will kick in to give them surprisingly minimal and fairly inflexible coverage.
  3. People don’t think “it” could happen to them. Many people try to fool themselves by not thinking about death or by telling themselves they will live to a ripe old age and drift off comfortably in their sleep. In reality, 70% of all Americans will have a need for long-term care at some point in their lives.

The truth of the matter is that people don’t choose an accident, injury, or illness. It chooses them and it does not discriminate based on “what kind of life they lead” or what they want to happen. Helping people come to that realization is essential to help them safeguard their personal and financial futures. Denial, misinformation, and avoidance do not decrease a person’s chance of requiring long-term care unfortunately. Careful planning done by informed people can make a profound difference the experience by protecting people’s assets and preserving their choices over care decisions.

People’s care is ultimately in their own hands. Wouldn’t it be great if they were able to make choices about their future through a position of knowledge and understanding???What is the biggest objection you hear about long-term care insurance? How can we help?

For further information please contact Doug Ross at 800-483-1115. x223, or e-mail dross@empowerltci.com.

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Four Ways to EM-Power your Career by Offering Long Term Care Insurance Coverage

Posted on March 11th, 2010 by Em-Power Services

Do your current insurance offerings leave a gaping hole in your clients’ coverage? Are you leaving money on the table by not pairing Long Term Care Insurance with your other products, or capturing more business from your existing clients?

EM-Power Services has developed the tools and training to help insurance brokers capture more business and offer a valuable solution to their clients. We offer a proprietary sales and enrollment platform that secures employer contributions in more than half of all cases, with voluntary enrollments achieving up to 25% participation. And—EM-Powers’ enrollment platform capture more than five times the national average!

EM-Power works with every major carrier so you can customize a program that best fits each company’s need.

Our marketing program teaches you how to secure a 1-hour appointment with the decision-makers. It will also arm you with the 5-key agreements that cause employers to become emotionally connected to what Long Term Care Insurance can offer them and their work force.

Additionally, EM-Power will offer you these valuable resources:

  1. A comprehensive quote engine that produces proposals with up to three carriers side by side. The proposal highlights the minimal cost to receive maximum discounts and underwriting concessions for employees and their spouses and showcases the ability to discriminate by having the Company pay for only the owner or key executives.
  2. Electronic messaging software that produces custom communications to invite employees to educational workshops.
  3. Custom enrollment materials for each employee.
  4. Administrative support to address behind the scenes functions such as coordinating payroll deductions for employees, automated delivery of policies.

We’re confident that EM-Power provides the strongest solution out there with our comprehensive enrollment platform and specialized agent training. How can you benefit from adding long term care insurance to your offerings?

For further information please contact Doug Ross at 800-483-1115. x223, or e-mail dross@empowerltci.com.

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Three Ways Long-Term Care Impacts Millions of Working Americans

Posted on February 21st, 2010 by Em-Power Services

It’s really something else when we hear about people who pine away all their lives with hard work and savings, just to have it all wiped out with a single accident or illness. It’s especially tough when it happens to one of your employees; someone who devoted his or her energies into making your company successful and winds up falling through the health-care cracks due to lack of knowledge or the right coverage choices.

The biggest financial surprise hard-working Americans run into is the lack of coverage they thought they had, where they thought there was enough. It used to be nothing could fix this, but now corporations are learning about this gap and the choices they have to help their employees bridge their coverage. I’m not talking about raising the coverage amounts on traditional health insurance, I’m talking about reading the fine print in your company’s current offerings and learning where the gaping holes in coverage appear.

In what ways does the lack of long-term care coverage hurt working Americans?

Your employees may become impoverished when they must use their savings, equity, and retirement funds to pay for long-term care service fees they thought they were insured against.

Family members and loved ones must often significantly alter their lifestyles, curtail their careers, and carry the physical and emotional weight of caring for a sick, hurt, or disabled family member. They are also financially impacted when household funds are re-allocated for care.

Once a person has used all of his or her available financial resources, he or she will likely have to rely upon government assistance to continue care. In most instance, this means moving to a nursing home facility or institution instead of receiving in-home care.

Does your company have systems in place to address your employees’ long-term financial and health care needs? Does it include long-term care options?

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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