By Brian Gordon, President of MAGA LTC.
Whether you decide to self-insure your long term care insurance risk or purchase long term care insurance, the best way to ensure you make the right decisions is to work with a long term care planning specialist.
Long term care planning is complex, and long term care insurance even more so. You might be surprised to learn that even financial advisors and general insurance agents turn to long term care planning specialists when arranging long term care protection for their clients—there are just too many ins and outs for most people to master.
An experienced long term care insurance specialist will take the time to analyze your financial situation, your health and your goals before making recommendations. He or she will have an in-depth understanding of both standalone LTCI plans and hybrid plans and will offer you thoughtful options.
But not all long term care planning specialists are created equal. Before choosing a specialist, be sure to ask them these questions:
- What Carriers Do You Work with? – Trustworthy long term care specialists will work with multiple carriers. This ensures they represent your interests and not the interest of insurance companies. The carriers should be highly-rated by insurance rating companies—it’s fine to ask what their ratings are—and have an established history in the long term care marketplace.
- Where Are You Licensed? – Agents must be licensed in order to sell various forms of insurance in any given state. Most good-sized long term care planning specialists are licensed nationwide—and if someone is not, that may be a tip-off right there.
- Do You Know the Carriers’ Underwriting Criteria? – This is important if you are not in perfect health. Because carriers vary in their treatment of various medical conditions, your specialist should be able to guide you toward carriers most likely to approve your application or offer the most competitive rates.
- How Do You Communicate with Your Clients? – A reputable long term care insurance specialist will communicate with you every step of the way and will have a communication process in place for doing so. You shouldn’t be left wondering about the status of your policy.
- Will You Continue to Service My Policy After It Is Finalized? – You want a long term care specialist who will not only remain available to answer your questions going forward, but is willing to conduct periodic policy reviews. This ensures your coverage remains relevant to your needs.
- Will You Help Us File an LTCI Claim, If Needed? – This is especially important. Filing a long term care insurance claim can be complicated, especially in the stressful days following a long term care event. Not all long term care specialists offer this service, but some do—and they’re worth seeking out.
When you’re ready to start your long term care planning, choose a partner who will help you do it right. If you’d like more information about long term care insurance, and if it might be a good choice for you, click here.