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Long-term care without long-term financial stress.

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Long-term care without long-term financial stress.
OMA Insurance
1/1/2011
For many people, the need for long-term care may be inevitable, but the burden on one’s budget is not. Long-term care insurance provides financial security and  protects personal savings and assets from the high costs of care by helping to pay for the support you need when  you cannot look after yourself.

Whatever your personal savings or retirement nest egg, consider the jolt of these costs: $2,000 a month for a private room in a government-subsidized retirement facility; $5,000 a month for a private retirement home (plus personal care services); or $1,500 to $3,000 a month for home care.

For many people, the need for long-term care may be inevitable — but the burden on one's budget is not.

The OMA's Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance protects your savings and assets from the high costs of care. Weekly benefits can range anywhere from $150 to $2,000, for a period lasting from 100 weeks to life.

Many LTC plans are restrictive, i.e. the payments will apply to a certain type of facility, or reimburse only certain eligible expenses.

"The OMA's plan is income-style," says Alban Moran, Senior Consultant, OMA Insurance. "This means that plan-holders can spend the benefit as they wish — in the home, in the community, or in a long-term care facility."

Among other services, the benefits could cover nursing care, rehabilitation and therapy, supervision (if you can't be left alone), personal care, homemaking, or even paying a family member or friend to assist with care.

Benefits are payable if you become physically dependent and require support with any two of six daily living activities — bathing, dressing, feeding, continence, toileting, and transferring, e.g,. between a chair and bed — or if you require continuous supervision due to deteriorating mental ability.

LTC coverage can straddle working years and retirement years, but can be especially valuable when you enter retirement, and disability insurance no longer applies.

"It's a nice pick-up, but you don't have to wait until that point to get it, when you might not be as healthy," says Judy Wood, Senior Co-ordinator, Business Development, OMA Insurance.

It's natural to associate long-term care with aging. But consider the case of a 55-year-old GP who developed early-onset Alzheimer's. Or the 40-year-old surgeon who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle crash. Neither one expected to require long-term care so soon.

The reality is that anyone could require such care at any age. If you're younger and can afford it, LTC insurance can make sense (premiums are cheaper, too).

In fact, if you buy LTC insurance when young enough, you pay the premium for only 20 years while maintaining the protection for your lifetime.

The costs of long-term care are already high, and will only escalate in the future, further eroding savings when the time comes to pay.

"Rather than scrounging from your savings, this product is designed to cover the level of care you desire, in a facility or in your home if you can and want to stay," says Moran.

Long-Term Care Insurance can help pay for the care you need when you cannot look after yourself. It can provide financial security and help protect you and your family's savings from being depleted.