ABOUT

Helping people protect against catastrophic health events since Ronald Reagan was president

Partner in New England Medical Insurance Agency one of the biggest health Insurance agencies in New England

Fast forward to 2012: Long Term Care became a specialty as I watched my Mom  burn through hundreds of thousands of dollars on long term care and end up on a government plan

Learned that government plans stop covering care for chronic illnesses after 90 days

My passion is to educate people about the consequences of not having a plan to cover the cost of long term care.

What our clients are saying…

"It has been a very rewarding partnership"

Katherine Cook and Jennifer Walichnowski, The Maids of Southern NH

"They deliver current and accurate information… We really enjoy working with them."

Larry Yerdon, Strawbery Banke Museum

"Jim Better has been our trusted advisor for a long time"

Wayne Barbaro, Amesbury Chair Co.

"They present information in layman’s terms and treat us as if we are part of their family. Keep up the good work!"

Ann-Marie Miller, New Hampshire Historical Society

From the Blog

Financial Impact of Cognitive Decline

Vlog 153: Financial Impact of Cognitive Decline

Nearly 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimers, Dementia, or Memory Care Disorders, a figure that is likely to double over the next 20 years. Cognitive decline can be devastating on individuals and their families, even those with high net worth. Listen to today’s vlog for more.: LISTEN >>

Long Term Care Coverage Testimonial: Marne on Long Term Care Insurance | Essential Plans of Insurance

Long Term Care Coverage Testimonial: Marne “I’ve covered the bet”

Essential Plans of Insurance client Marne talks about how with her Long Term Care coverage “I’ve covered the bet.” READ MORE >>

Losing our independence scarier than death

Vlog 151: Losing Our Independence Scarier than Death

Many people underestimate what the cost of Long Term Care is. They also depend on spouses or family to take care of them. The smart thing to do is to leverage your assets to plan for the inevitable. Listen to today’s vlog for more: LISTEN >>

Feeling Confident About Your Future Essential Plans of Insurance

Vlog 150: Feeling Confident About Your Future

Your future depends on the plans you make today. There are a number of elements you need to consider when you plan for your future. Listen to today’s vlog for more. LISTEN >>

 You Need a Plan for Long Term Care Expenses

Vlog140: Plan for Long Term Care Expenses

There are a few ways you can avoid buying Long Term Care Insurance. However, you need to have a Plan for Long Term Care Expenses. Listen to today’s vlog for more: LISTEN >>

That kind of care gets paid for in one of three ways

Z

Qualify for Medicaid

(that’s the government’s poverty level and assets need to be spent down!)

Use Up Your Savings

Short Term or Long Term Care Insurance Contract

Getting ready for it is better than dealing with a crisis when you may not be at your best. Our work is to help people through the Medicare maze and provide the necessary legal and financial tools.

%

of us will need help with things like dressing, bathing, meal preparation and remembering. Family members often help out but that gets real old real fast. The experience can literally tear families apart.

The idea is to be smart about it:
protect your money, avoid family turmoil,
and be able to make choices for yourself.

EMOTIONAL

The emotional impact of witnessing the decline of a family member or helping to care for one is often the reason people seek coverage for long-term care, people who work in the aging field say.

Anything relating to long-term care triggers a lot of emotions, because most of us want to believe we’ll never need it, Many people who consider the policies have firsthand experience caring for an aging parent, and most of them want coverage that will pay for care in their homes.

4 Signs of Cognitive Impairment and Why Early Detection of Memory Impairment is Important

1. Difficulty doing familiar things in their life.

Having problems with activities of daily living (ADl’s) or any activity that is part of their normal routine such as cooking, cleaning, or performing regular jobs skill could signal an issue.

2. Difficulty remembering things that happen in the last day.

Alzheimer’s and dementia affects recent memory so memory problems within the past 24 hours could be a red flag.

3. Sudden behavioral changes.

If your loved one is suddenly depressed, quiet, agitated or acting out of the norm, this may signal a problem.

4. Having trouble keeping a conversation.

The following problems in conversation could be an indication of memory impairment:

  • Asking the same question repeatedly, without remembering the answer
  • Not referring to people by name
  • Vagueness and lack of details in conversation

5 Most Important Financial Questions to Ask Your Parent

1. Do you have a durable power of attorney?

2. Have you updated your will, insurance and retirement account information recently?

3. Do you have plans or insurance in place to pay for long term care?

4. Who is advising you?

5. Where is all the important information: passports, social security cards, bank accounts, etc.?

How Boomers Should Approach Aging Parent Issues

Long Term Care Insurance

Boomers who had a rough time getting through ‘the talk’ with their kids might find that there is another uncomfortable discussion they face – the one with their parents.

Get yourself mentally and emotional prepared. Think about how you would want to be talked to in the same situation. Keep the conversation casual and as clam as possible. The conversation will be counterproductive if your frustration and anxiety comes through.

 

Show your support with regular communication. It is easier to talk about ‘touchy’ areas when you are already in the habit of talking about everyday things. Ask questions about their life, what they are doing and their concerns. Asking for their advice can also make them feel more valued.

Holidays can be a good time to talk about the future. However, telling them that it is not safe to live alone with everyone around the holiday table is not a good idea. Take them aside and voice your concerns and potential fixes.

Regarding financial information, it may be best to use the indirect approach. Break the ice with stories like: Phil and Doris are having trouble paying their utility bills or Frank had to get a part time job to make ends meet. This might help them open up about their personal financial situation.

If you hear that they are getting financial advice, it would be helpful to know from whom.

It’s still their life so when talking about moving to a long-term care facility present options that include in-home care or moving in with a friend or relative. Leave them feeling that they are still in control and can make their own choices.

For more information regarding Alzheimer from Dr. Wes Ashford click:

FINANCIAL

The cost of long term care depends on where it is received. The four stages begin with staying at home and receiving care from a variety of providers such as, family, home health aides and visiting nurses. This would also include Adult Daycare. The next stage is Assisted Living. This generally means a one room or a two room suite in a group setting with others in the same condition. Then nursing home care with specialty nurses and doctors. The fourth stage is hospice where efforts are limited to making the patient comfortable.

On average, a 60-year-old couple who buy a policy now will pay more than $3,700 a year for $162,000 each in “current” benefits, which will grow to $329,000 each when they turn 85 (at an inflation rate of 3 percent, compounded annually). That is a 10 percent increase over last year’s premium; the increase in a typical premium for single policyholders was around 20 percent.

This example is based on a typical “three-year” policy that uses a daily rate of $150 to calculate a maximum, three-year payout. That doesn’t mean, though, that it pays benefits only for three years. Rather, that time period is used to calculate a pool of money that can be tapped as needed.

The cost also is different depending what state you are in and the level of care you need. The cost of care is generally lower in the south and higher in other parts of the country. Click on the link to see what it cost in different zip codes.

Important Elements of Long Term Care Insurance Policies 

Monthly Benefit: Maximum amount the insurance company will pay for custodial care.

Total Benefit: Total amount the insurance company will pay for your care.

Time Limit the policy will cover: Often expressed in years and months.

Elimination Period: The period before bills begin to be paid by the insurance company.

Inflation: The percentage the monthly benefit and total benefit increase every year

Options with Long Term Care Insurance Policies

There are 3 kinds of policies…

 

1. Traditional contracts

Traditional contracts provide benefits for long term care only. This means that if you don’t use it, it doesn’t pay anything. Similar to auto or fire insurance policies. These polices have a unique value for people who live in a Partnership state. Under these conditions, the Medicaid ‘spend down’ formula changes. Medicaid allows for the retention of $119,000 that does not have to be used for long term care. In Partnership states, the value is increased by the face amount of the policy. For example, Jim buys a $300,000 traditional Long Term Care Policy. Because he lives in New Hampshire (a Partnership State), the spend-down stops at $419,000.

2. Hybrid Long Term Care Policies

Hybrid Long Term Care Policies function differently. These contracts are really life insurance policies with a long term care rider. With this type of policy, the death benefit can also be used for long term care. For example, Jim decides to by a $300,000 hybrid policy because, if he is one of the 1/3rd of the population that will die before they need long term care, the policy will pay off. There is no ‘use it or lose it’. Unfortunately, these policies are not eligible for the Partnership Plan.

3. Short Term Care (STC)

Short Term Care (STC) policies are new to the market and offer lower premiums for a shorter period of coverage. Under Hybrids or Tradition contracts, benefits can be available for 2 years or life time. The STC’s cover only up to 365 days.

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Contact us today to get started. 
Call 833-902-2020.

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