INDEPENDENT RECORD n FEBRUARY 27, 2011 D n ESTATE AND FINANCIAL PLANNING
LTCI is just for nursing home care. Wrong—not anymore.The beauty of today’s policy is that the insurance will cover you at home, or in an assisted living facility, and yes, if need be, in a nursing home or in an Alzheimer’s/memory unit. So, you can receive care at home for the same help you would need in a nursing home. LTCI is just for older people. Wrong again—simply not true. Suppose you are “T-boned” at an intersection, can’t work, and are laid up for a year or so at home recovering from a broken back. Comprehensive LTCI will pay for someone to come into your home and help you with the normal activities of daily living. Same thing for a stroke, or heart attack, or Alzheimer’s, among thousands of other reasons. Here’s a surprise. 40 per cent of long term care needs are provided to people under 65. And the greatest incidence of stroke is rising for under age 65 people. LTCI is just too expensive. Wrong again—depending on your age, and as compared to the alternative— paying for care yourself— insurance is the least costly option. Working age people have a great chance to protect the assets they are building with affordable rates. Waiting to purchase at an older age is what creates high premiums, as well as other problems—such as inflation in the cost of the care, and the onset of preexisting conditions, which could lead to a decline of policy issue.
There are no tax incentives for me to do this Wrong again—especially in Montana.The State of Montana was (and is) light years ahead of the Federal government in offering tax breaks for purchasers of Long Term Care Insurance. Montanans receive an hon est “line item deduction.”The federal tax break is pretty anemic, except for those who are owners of a C-Corp. There are several other factors to consider.The notion that “Medicare will pay for it,” has forever been wrong. Medicare was designed for medical needs, not care needs. Or,“We’ll just go on Medicaid (welfare).” OK. Perhaps. But there are qualification requirements, some recovery statutes after receiving the care, and a serious problem for state budgets to continue to pay for long term care, as Medicaid money struggles to keep up with the demand. The State of Montana has also created the “Partnership Policy” certification, which qualifies policyholders for an important Medicaid benefit designed to help against asset depletion.This is very important. So, back to the costs and the “Retirement Outgo” issue. In the Helena area, Home Care will run about $20.00 per hour. Assisted Living will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 per month depending on the level of care contracted. And nursing home care will be pretty close to $5,000 per month, with possible additional charges for Alzheimer’s patients.
the most expensive item in retirement costs, for most people, are related to health care
Since 1973 SPECIALIZING IN ESTATE PLANNING We are a Montana law ﬁrm specializing in estate planning and closely related areas of law. By focusing our prac�ce in a par�cular area of the law, we are able to oﬀer our clients the experience and exper�se of professionals who dedicate their careers to providing competent, professional legal advice.
OUR ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES INCLUDE:
Debbie M. Churchill, Attorney at Law
• Developing a process for transferring your property from one genera�on to another • Crea�ng trusts for estate tax reduc�on, people in second marriages, leaving property to disabled persons • Naming guardians for minor or disabled children • Coordina�ng your assets with your estate plan • Upda�ng your estate plan • Planning for handling of medical and ﬁnancial decision if you become disabled, advanced direc�ves • Exploring op�ons for long-term care, including Medicaid eligibility
We serve our clients by providing an ongoing personal rela�onship with them over the course of their lives. 2728 Colonial Drive, Suite 202 • Helena, MT 59601 Located in the Mountain West Bank Building on the Corner of Colonial Drive and Broadway Phone 441-5401 • Fax 441-5402 • www.churchilllawoﬃce.com Oﬃce Hours: 8am–5pm, Monday–Friday
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Published on Feb 28, 2011