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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Am I Prepared for Long-Term Care Expenses? 

By From Michael J. Brown with Janney Montgomery Scott

In general, Americans are not sufficiently prepared to pay for long-term care. Many of them go through their lives simply hoping that they won’t ever need it. Unfortunately, in the event that you or a loved one does need long-term care, hope won’t be enough to protect you from potential financial ruin.
Self-insurance as an option 
To self-insure — that is, to cover the cost yourself — you must have sufficient income to pay the rising costs of long-term care. Keep in mind that even if you have sufficient resources to afford long-term care now, you may not be able to handle rising future costs without drastically altering your lifestyle. 
The Medicaid option 
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that covers medical bills for the needy. If you qualify, it may help pay for your long-term-care costs. Unfortunately, Medicaid is basically welfare. In order to qualify, you generally have to have few assets or will need to spend down your assets. State law determines the allowable income and resource limits. If you have even one dollar of income or assets in excess of these limits, you may not be eligible for Medicaid. 
To receive Medicaid assistance, you may have to transfer your assets to meet those limits. This can be tricky, however, because there are tough laws designed to discourage asset transfers for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid. If you have engaged in any “Medicaid planning,” consult an advisor to discuss any new Medicaid rules. 
Long-term care insurance
A long-term care insurance policy may enable you to transfer a portion of the economic liability of long-term care to an insurance company in exchange for the regular premiums. Long-term-care insurance may be used to help pay for skilled care, intermediate care, and custodial care. Most policies pay for nursing home care, and comprehensive policies may also cover home care services and assisted living. Insurance can help protect your family financially from the potentially devastating cost of a long-term disabling medical condition, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment. 
A complete statement of coverage, including exclusions, exceptions, and limitations, is found only in the policy.
Long-term care riders on life insurance
A number of insurance companies have added long-term care riders to their life insurance contracts. For an additional fee, these riders will provide a benefit — usually a percentage of the face value — to help cover the cost of long-term care. This may be an option for you.
Michael J. Brown, AIF® Senior VP / Branch Manager, Janney Montgomery Scott, 401 New Road, Suite 200, Linwood, NJ 08221, 609-601-2512, michaelbrown@janney.com.
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2022 Janney Montgomery Scott LLC Financial Advisors are available to discuss all considerations and risks involved with various products and strategies presented. We will be happy to provide a prospectus, when available, and other information upon request. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, its affiliates, and its employees are not in the business of providing tax, regulatory, accounting, or legal advice. These materials and any tax-related statements are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used or relied upon, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. For more information about Janney, please see Janney’s Relationship Summary (Form CRS) on www.janney.com/crs which details all material facts about the scope and terms of our relationship with you and any potential conflicts of interest.

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