Navigating long-term care insurance (LTCi) can be complicated for people planning the type of care they might need, how long they might need it and how they are going to pay for it, according to retirement expert Glenn Ruffenach. In a recent Wall Street Journal Ask Encore column, he examines the importance of finding a knowledgeable, independent agent who “sells policies from multiple carriers and who specializes in long-term-care planning and insurance.”
Mr. Ruffenach recommends several tips to help find the right agent, including using educational and training programs dedicated to LTCi insurance to find agents and other financial professionals nationwide. (For example Certification for Long-Term Care has a locator on its website that identifies its graduates.) He also suggests searching online for local experts or asking others in professional services, such as accounting or tax law, for recommendations. Once you have identified several agents, it is important to talk to all of them to assess who is the best fit for you based on their experience and education as well as your own comfort level with them.
This article highlights the continued disconnect between the recognized need for private payment options and security for long-term care, and the availability of insurance that provides coverage for long-term care at prices accessible for most Americans. There is no doubt that finding a great insurance agent is a key step, but despite the growing need, there remains a dearth of cost-effective options. We see this as a public policy concern that is growing in notoriety, as policy makers continue to examine the long-term viability of Medicaid and other social safety net programs. Simultaneously, the carrier community is working hard to devise products and insurance programs that will serve a wider group of American consumers. While a good agent is surely a key component, we are optimistic that insurers and policymakers will also facilitate a more robust supply of private insurance options.
Read the full “Long-Term-Care Insurance: First, You Should Find an Agent” piece. (Subscription required).