Archive for the ‘Senior Finances’ Category

Long Term Care for Seniors

Posted on: December 5th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Long Term Care is a must topic of discussion for families with older members. The timing couldn’t be better. Throughout the holiday season, families join together to share traditional festivities and reminisce of holidays past. This family-focused time presents an ideal opportunity to talk with aging family members about their wishes concerning long term care.

Due to advances in medical technology and health care, people are living longer than ever before. In addition, the traditional family, which once included built-in care for elderly family members, is fast becoming obsolete. Today, 420-medicaid-home-caretaker-helps-husband-wifeit is common for adult children to reside in locations far from their aging parents. At the same time, the costs for long-term care services continue to increase.

Long term care insurance typically covers the costs for in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care. According to industry sources, eight million Americans currently have long term care insurance coverage, with some 400,000 new policies issued in 2007 alone. In addition, roughly 180,000 Americans with long term care insurance policies received benefits amounting to 3.5 billion dollars.*

According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, 50% of those who applied for long term care insurance were between the ages of 55 and 64. Another 26% were between the ages of 45 and 54. As consumers—76 million baby boomers in particular—become aware of the cost-saving benefits of securing health discounts and obtaining more affordable coverage, the age of buyers continues to decline. In 2011, when baby boomers begin turning 65, the number of older people will dramatically increase between 2010 and 2030. In 2030, the older population is projected to be twice as large as in 2000.**

Therefore, it is important to raise awareness, assess risk, and stress the need for proper planning. The need for adequate coverage, especially for those who currently have no coverage, is fast becoming a national issue.

The Long Term Care Awareness Campaign continues to grow, involving a growing number of national organizations and government agencies. The expansion of this campaign allows more time to promote awareness and to provide in-depth educational programs.

We hope that you will take the time to analyze your needs, as well as the needs of close
family members, for long term care.

* Source: American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, 2008 LTCi Sourcebook.

** Source: American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, October 2009.

Kim

Veterans’ Aid and Attendance Benefit–Many Vets Don’t Know About It

Posted on: January 9th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

The Aid and Attendance Benefit is for veterans and their surviving spouses who require the aid of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, walking, medication dosing, taking care of the needs of nature, and to insure a safe environment. Individuals who are blind, who’ve been diagnosed with a form of Dementia such as Alzheimer’s, and those who are a patient in a nursing home or assisted living facility because of mental or physical incapacity may qualify. Those receiving care in their own home may be eligible as well.

This benefit is greatly underutilized because many veterans are unaware it exists. “Roughly 1 out of 4 seniors in the U.S. could qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit under the right conditions. That’s how many war veterans or their surviving spouses there are. Only about 5% of U.S. seniors are actually receiving this benefit.” Source: www.veteransaidbenefit.org

For some veterans, the benefit application process may seem overwhelming and confusing, but there are specialists in the community who can help. According to Bob Nonnemaker, a VA Accredited Claims Agent with
Veteran’s Advisor Group in Gilbert, “Benefits can come fairly quickly when the application is completed correctly, all required documents are included, and the applicant’s finances are in order. In these cases, we are seeing most veteran applications get approved in
30-40 days.”

It is also important to note that a veteran’s spouse may be eligible for this benefit. According to Debbie Burak, founder of veteransaid.org, “Many families overlook the A&A Pension as it pertains to veterans who are still independent, but have an ill spouse. Keep in mind that in this situation, if the spouse’s medical expenses completely deplete their combined monthly income, the veteran can file as a veteran with a sick spouse.”

To qualify for the Veterans’ Aid and Attendance Benefit a veteran must:

  • have received an honorable or general discharge
  • have served 1 day during the following active wars WWII, Korea, Vietnam (certain criteria apply) AND have a minimum of 90 days of active duty service
  • have doctor’s orders stating he or she needs the aid and assistance of others
  • meet specific financial requirements regarding income and assets

Monthly Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit Amounts – 2013

 

 

Veteran $1,732

Surviving Spouse $1,113

Veteran & Spouse $1,360

(Spouse needs care)

Veteran & Spouse $2,054

(Veteran needs care)

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs

If you or your loved one is a veteran and you think you might meet the criteria, contact us at 1-888-496-3983 for a referral to an accredited VA claims agent who can assist you.

Kim