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Often you hear you should get a second diagnosis, especially if it a more serious health issue. A recent study found that nearly 90 percent of medical patients who come to the Mayo Clinic for a 'second opinion' get a completely new diagnosis. Eighty-eight percent of people who visit Mayo for a second opinion on a health issue end up leaving with a different diagnosis than they came in with.

Read the story here

As we age we often have more complicated health issues where a second opinion could be very beneficial, not only to the potential outcome but to the quality of life. It could mean a person needing long-term care sooner than later. This is why an advance plan to address the financial costs and burdens of aging should be part of your retirement plan. You don’t need a second opinion: affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard your retirement savings {401(k) IRA 403(b)} and ease the burden extended care places on family members. People require long-term care due to illnesses, accidents or the impact of aging. Plan before you retire and add peace-of-mind to your planning.

Posted: April 10th 2017

Most people are concerned about memory issues as we age. Alzheimer’s and dementia are one of the biggest reason people require long-term care which impacts your family, your lifestyle and your savings. Dr. Constantine George Lyketsos, Director of the Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins, wants you to know, that there are ways to help keep your brain powerful throughout your aging process.

See the steps from John Hopkins here:

The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact you and your family at some point. If you have a family history of memory issues you are at greater risk. If you don’t have that family history it does not immune you from having Alzheimer’s or dementia. While you can take better care of yourself and follow some of Dr. Lyketsos’s tips, the fact remains that if you reach the age of 65 you will have a 7 in 10 chance of needing some type of long-term care service before you die. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard your future retirement income and savings (401(k) IRA 403(b)) and other assets from the high risk and high cost of long-term care. LTC insurance will also ease the burden that is placed on a family because of a long-term care event.

The best time to plan is before you retire when you enjoy good health and much lower premiums. Premiums are based, in part, on the age of application and are intended to remain level. Plans can vary and cost of plans also vary. A long-term care specialist can help you decide what coverage, if any, is appropriate in your situation.

Posted: April 8th 2017

Michigan now participates in the federal/state partnership for long -term care program. The Michigan Long-Term Care Partnership Program is a partnership between state government and private insurance companies to assist individuals in planning their long-term care needs. Insurance companies must follow state and federal guidelines, and agents must be licensed and trained to sell partnership policies. The idea is to provide a consumer with financial protection for the costs of long-term care with a safeguard of additional asset protection known as “dollar-for-dollar” or “asset disregard” protection.

Long-Term Care Insurance policies that qualify for the Partnership Program may protect the policyholder’s or certificate holder’s assets through a feature known as “Asset Disregard” under Michigan’s Medicaid program. Asset Disregard means that an amount of the policyholder’s or certificate holder’s assets equal to the amount of long-term care benefits received under a qualified Partnership Program insurance policy, will be disregarded for the purpose of determining the insured’s eligibility for Medicaid.  This generally allows a person to keep assets equal to the insurance benefits paid on your behalf under a qualified Partnership Program insurance policy. 

Read more from the State of Michigan:

Long-Term Care Medicaid spend-down is $2000. A spouse’s minimum asset allowance is $24,180.

There are no current state tax incentives for long-term care insurance, federal tax incentives still apply.

A variety of products are available in Michigan for Long-Term Care Planning.

Posted: April 8th 2017

Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today, Orman is one of the most recognized expert on personal finance. She is also a big believer in planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging.

For a very long time she has promoted the need for having a long-term care insurance policy. These plans are very affordable especially if you are in good health and younger. However new products exist where you can move existing money and have both a plan for long-term care and get your money back if you are lucky enough to never require extended care. These are called asset based or “hybrid” policies.

Suze discusses these plans:

No matter what type of plan you get, a traditional LTC insurance policy, a partnership policy with additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection, a hybrid plan like Suze wrote about or even smaller “short-term” plans, having an affordable way to address the physical, emotional and financial burdens placed on family is essential to your future retirement plan. Affordable LTC plans will protect your savings and provide peace-of-mind knowing you will never burden your family. Ideally, plan before you retire as you have the most options available. Always work with a specialist in long-term care insurance. Most insurance agents and financial advisors don’t have the expertise or experience in this area.

Posted: April 4th 2017