Long term care insurance


by Sharyn Hillier, B.A., CHS., Hill Life Financial

Long Term Care. It’s been in the media lately. It’s had some really bad press because of the inadequacies of our public system in Ontario. Rightly so. Only just recently, it was reported that the provincial government has passed Bill 218 which basically will bar any COVID exposure-related claim against a long-term care home, if the provider made an “honest” or “good faith” effort to act in accordance with public health guidelines. I don’t see that as a good thing for families with elders in Long Term Care facilities.

People deserve to be well taken care of in their elder years. Do we not deserve “choice”? Choice of where we want to spend our later years, when we are unable to care for ourselves? Choice of who looks after us? Choice of how we are treated? Choice of a private or semi-private room? Hopefully, we are treated wich dignity, compassion, respect. So choice is a big factor when it comes to looking at Long Term Care. But what gives you that power? Being prepared is one major factor. Many individuals simply don’t want to think about getting older. Yet we will, and many of us will require care. So why not think of preparing for our Long Term Care before that actually happens?

What am I talking about here? How can we prepare? What gives us that power? I
am talking about Long Term Care Insurance. This type of insurance pays you a weekly
or monthly benefit to be used for your Long Term Care needs when you are not be
able to look after yourself because of physical or cognitive limitations. There are various types of Long Term Care Insurance. Some require you to show receipts and receive
reimbursement. Some require you to stay in your home to receive payment. The most
flexible plans simply hand you money each month and you can use it how you please.

Cost is one of the major objections to Long Term Care Insurance. Yet, can we afford
NOT to prepare for our elder years? Something is only expensive if you see no value in what you are purchasing. Some see no value in Long Term Care Insurance. They are willing to run the risk of dealing with the issue when the need arises. Perhaps they plan on selling a house, or using their retirement income to pay for it.

I believe Long Term Care Insurance is an investment, just like RRSP’s; an investment in yourself and those who care for you. Did you know, on average, it only takes about 3 years of claims to recoup the premiums on a Long Term Care plan? And that most Long Term Care plans will have a claim period of over 7 years? That’s not a bad rate of return.

I am not talking about aLong Term Care plan that pays you $10,000 per month. Instead, I look at Long Term Care Insurance as a supplement to your retirement savings. It’s a way to invest in your future, just like having a number of different investment vehicles. You may not invest solely in RRSP’s. You may have a TFSA, or you may have non registered investments. This is simply a “long term care” investment.

The result of having Long Term Care Insurance is back to having choice. You may not have to be placed on a waiting list. You may be able to live at home, or if you require a nursing home, you can reside in one that is close to your family and friends. You do not have to worry about whether or not the provincial government will make the changes to public-run long term care facilities. You can have the power to make your own decisions.


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