Expert Offers Tips for Selecting Long-Term Insurance

OMAHA, NE--(Marketwire - Apr 18, 2012) - Thanks to aging Baby Boomers, more Americans than ever will soon be deciding how to handle their eldercare, says Steve Casto, Retirement Income Specialist and author of "Is Your Retirement Headed in the Right Direction?" (

Barely 50 years ago, our average life expectancy was 62.5 years, he notes. Today it's 78.2 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"The key thing to balance is the difference between what you think you'll need and what you can afford between your liquid assets and insurance coverage," he says. "If you don't start by asking yourself the right questions, you'll never get to the answers that will lead to a successful long-term care plan."

Here are some questions -- and their answers:

Q. What should I select as my daily allowance?
A. If your health deteriorates, a daily allowance of $100 per day could cover all your care outside the home, but only a third of the care inside the home. Your home-care costs could rocket to more than $400 or more per day, so plan for the worst.

Q. What is an elimination period?
A. Sometimes referred to as the "waiting" or "qualifying" period, this refers to the length of time between the beginning of an injury or illness and receiving benefit payments from an insurer. With long-term care, the typical elimination period is 90 days, which means you are responsible for covering the first 90 days of care on your own. Most people believe that Medicare covers the first 90 days, which is dead wrong. It only covers it under certain conditions, and not all patients meet those conditions, which include:

  • A nursing home stay that follows a three-day hospital stay
  • Admission to a nursing home within 30 days of hospital discharge
  • A Medicare-certified nursing home
  • Physician-certified need for skilled care on a daily basis

Your best bet is to be insured through a long-term care policy for that first 90 days.

About Steve Casto

Steve Casto is founder and president of Strategic Wealth Solutions, Inc., an Omaha, Neb.-based financial firm that manages money for investors in the Midwest. Steve helps clients reduce their tax bills, minimize their risk, and ensure they don't outlive their money. He offers presentations on how to increase income while reducing taxes.

Contact Information:

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