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Life and Health Bulletin
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Long-Term Care, Consider for All Ages
One in two Americans will need long-term medical care during their lifetime - and this percentage will keep growing, thanks to advances in medicine that keep extending the average lifespan.
The more we age, the more help we need - which means a serious health problem (such as a serious fall, cognitive impairment or heart attack) can make us unable to support ourselves and dependent on others for health care. What's more, this need is by no means limited to seniors: More than one in three people (37%) receiving long-term care services are younger than 65!
Long-Term Care insurance (LTC) can help pick up the tab for these often pricey services by covering expenses that your Health policy doesn't include. It can also protect your family's assets by removing the financial burden on your family and friends of paying for your care, or of caring for you themselves - responsibilities that you wouldn't want them to assume. As a rule, LTC coverage will pay for care in your home, an adult day care or assisted living facility, or a nursing home. The policy benefits will kick in as soon as you require assistance.
Without LTC, you, or your family, would have to pay for these services - which can create a staggering financial burden that could last for years. It costs more than $70,000 a year to staying in a nursing home, a figure that's projected to hit $190,600 by 2030. The average wage for home care aides comes to $32.50 an hour, an expense that can add up quickly because more and more people need 24-7 care. Don't count on other health care programs to foot the bill. Medicare, and almost all Health policies, will provide partial payment for long-term care - and only for 100 days or less. If you're under the poverty line, such government programs as Medicaid will cover nursing home care.
LTC can provide an affordable alternative. Annual premiums usually range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the amount of coverage, and your gender, age, and physical condition. (People who have severe health problems might not qualify).
For a free review of your need for long-term care protection, please get in touch with us.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Protect Your Way of Life – Disability Insurance
Almost everyone needs Disability insurance. Think about it. Your capacity to earn a living is crucial. Your income makes it possible to buy food, make mortgage payments, provide for your children, take a vacation, and countless other things. Many faithfully pay premiums for car, life, homeowner’s insurance, and perhaps even a pet’s medical insurance, but they neglect this extremely important protection, Disability insurance.
There are few things as disruptive to a family’s happiness as having a parent, or maybe both, lose his/her income due to accident or illness. When income is drastically reduced, it creates stress and unmet needs and expectations. It often creates feelings of guilt in a parent. Life is hard without a reliable source of income.
A LIFE Foundation study states that 70% of working Americans could not be without income for more than one month without serious financial difficulty. Surprisingly, the same study states that one of every four Americans couldn’t last a week if they were seriously injured and unable to work. Clearly, the answer to the question, “Does almost everyone need Disability insurance?” is a resounding “Yes!” It is important for an individual, and especially important for a family, to have a financial plan. Disability insurance should be one of the foundation stones of everyone’s financial plan, because it protects such an important asset – your income.
Other statistics need to be considered. The Senate Finance Committee states that 70% of people between the ages of 35 and 65 will become disabled for three months or longer and that 90% of injuries will occur away from work.
After you make the decision to purchase Disability insurance, there are still important questions to be answered and decisions to be made. “How large a benefit do I need; how much will it cost to purchase a plan with that level of protection?” “Does my spouse need this kind of policy even if he/she doesn’t work or has a small income?” “How long is the waiting period before I start receiving checks?” “Does my employer offer a disability plan that I am not aware of?” “Will I need this kind of insurance after I reach age 65?” All these and many other questions need to be taken to a capable, experienced insurance agent who is a specialist in this type of insurance. This is an important decision with a great number of complicated considerations, such as, “Is the plan guaranteed to be renewable?”, “What is the maximum benefit period?”, and “Which occupation class does my job fall into?”
Once the decision is made and the policy is purchased and in effect, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You have done what is necessary to protect your happiness with Disability insurance. More importantly, you have protected your family by providing for them if your ability to work is interrupted.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Life Insurance and Obesity
If you're overweight, you may already have a few reasons for wanting to lose weight. You might want to shop in regular clothing stores, feel more attractive, and have more energy. Losing weight can improve your health, too. As if these reasons weren't enough motivation to lose weight, the effects of obesity on your life insurance policy can also inspire you to lose a few pounds.
Why Obesity Affects Life Insurance Rates
Life insurance is based on your risk of dying. Obesity can drive up your life insurance rates and affect your policy category because the extra pounds increase your risk for chronic conditions. These dangerous and potentially fatal conditions include the following.
Type 2 diabetes
Are You Overweight?
Being as little as 10 pounds over your ideal weight increases your health risks, making life insurance more expensive and keeping you out of a preferred policy. About two-third of American adults are overweight or obese, and you can find out whether you are overweight or obese using a BMI calculator. Just enter your height and weight. If your BMI is over 30, you are considered obese.
Make Modest Lifestyle Changes to Lose Weight
Crash diets are not fun and they don't work. For lasting weight loss, think about small changes that you can make throughout the day to eat fewer calories and exercise a little more.
Grab fruit instead of cookies for dessert
Have raw cut vegetables for a crunchy snack instead of potato chips
Serve yourself smaller portions
Drink water instead of soda
Go for a walk after dinner
Choose lean meats and cut skin off of chicken before cooking it
These small changes can help you lose weight and get healthier. You'll feel better and look better, and you may be rewarded with lower life insurance rates!
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Testing for Dementia – New Life Insurance Policies
More and more senior citizens and those nearing retirement are buying Life insurance these days. Many of these people are worried that their spouse will run out of money if they die; while others hope to make up for losses suffered in the stock market decline.
An increasing number of Life insurers require testing the cognitive abilities of older applicants, in addition to taking a physical exam. Some companies make it standard practice to test applicants 60 years or older, while others begin testing at age 70 or 80.
The reason: cognitive impairment has a high correlation with early mortality. A study by the Alzheimer's Association (http://www.alz.org/ ) found than 60% of people with Alzheimer's at age 70 will probably die before they turn 80, compared to 30% of those who don't have the disease. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., with fatalities soaring by 66% between 2000 and 2008 - a period during which deaths from other illnesses, such as breast cancer and heart disease, fell.
Because there can be a genetic component to Alzheimer's, some experts believe that Life insurance applications will soon include questions about the cognitive abilities of family members (as they already do about a family history of cancer or cardiac disease). Bear in mind that the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic resulted in adding questions about HIV/AIDS to Life applications.
This focus on cognitive impairment among senior applicants offers one more reason for consumers to buy Life insurance when they're young, in good health, and can benefit from lower rates.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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