Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Your Long Term Care Insurance will not protect you from elder abuse

When mentioning our woes to friends someone or two, usually a single childless adult, mentions having or planning on long term care insurance. Well there are things Long Term Care (LTC) insurance does and does not.

SNAFUs- Because of a series of things-- Medicare not recording a move, several address changes in one year, changes with banking; Mom briefly lost her Medicare. DH has spent about 1.5 months dealing with Social Security and Kaiser (her healthcare provider) to get it reinstated.  It was not a simple matter of writing a check. It was trying to explain to people what happened, while trying to make sure Mom never was without the meds that keep her alive. There are several moving parts and when a wrench has been thrown in, who handles that?

Stopping the Fraud- Elder abuse can come from anywhere. I've been reading about grown children trying to protect their parents from con artists, opportunistic neighbors, gold digging "lovers" and other siblings, as is our case. LTC insurance kicks in a person needs help with daily activities or have 'severe' impaired mental cognition. Someone has to be proactive in claiming the parent's mental state is impaired, until then the elderly person can get sucked dry of their assets and placed into deep debt.

Who is going to negotiate with the LTC company? The body that is supposed to pay out a large sum for your care gets to be in the position to determine when, where and how they pay it. Who holds them accountable? Not the elderly person who is too easily confused.

This experience is making me very doubtful about my own care when I reach that age and time in my life when my mind isn't as sharp as it is now. Considering the cost of LTC premiums, and the criteria required for it to kick in, I don't think it is worth it.

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