How do I start the conversation about long term care?

Presenting long term care to a client is very similar in approach to selling disability insurance or life insurance.

With disability insurance, the question focuses on if they became too sick or hurt too work, how would they replace their income?

With life insurance, if they passed away, how would their family replace their income to sustain their current standard of living?

For long term care, when they become unable to take care of themselves due to illness or cognitive impairment, who will provide their care?

A follow up question is do they know anyone who has ever needed care and who provided that care?

Families who have had to provide assistance to a spouse, parent, child or in-law know all too well the emotional and financial impact it has.

Genworth has an excellent brochure called “Let’s Talk” that provides a template for clients on how to start the conversation with their family and/or spouse about Long Term Care.

What are common objections to buying long term care?

The most common objection is people think that Medicare will pay the cost of any long term care claim.

In fact, Medicare will only pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing care where an insured has been directly discharged from a hospital.

Since the majority of insureds only need custodial care (e.g., assistance with bathing, eating, etc.) they are not covered under Medicare.

In addition, the average claim lasts 2 ½ years.

Clients will also tell you that they ever need assistance, their children or spouse will take care of them.

The sentiment is understandable, but the reality is quite different.

Their spouse may no longer be physically capable of taking care of the person needing care and the children now live out of state or cannot afford to stop working to take care of the parent.

Insureds will also say that they will never need long term care, so why spend the money for it. Unfortunately, more than 2/3’s of the people over age 65 will need assistance with the activities of daily living at some point.

The most important question you can ask the client is where would they want the care provided and do they have a written plan to accomplish this.