Planning Today for a Secure Tomorrow

Planning Today for A Secure Tomorrow

The concept of security changes as we age. During our youth, security can mean a well-paying job or a comfortable lifestyle. As the years unfurl, security includes protecting those you love; security post-retirement, however, is more nuanced. Because 70% of people aged 65 and over will need long-term care, it is essential to consider how long term care costs will impact your plans for a secure future.

On Thursday evening, March 5 Aldo Pantano of the Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care Policy and Planning Division carefully explained to a roomful of guests CT's state-sponsored long term care insurance option. The Partnership is a program of the State of Connecticut that works in alliance with the private insurance industry and has served as a national model since CT pioneered its inception over 20-years ago.

After discussing the growing need and cost of long term care in CT, Pantano dispelled the widespread assumption that Medicare will cover long term care. Medicare pays for acute medical needs; it does not pay for long term care. The average annual cost of long term care in CT is over $110,000 and with an average duration of 2 1/2 years (although women, who live longer, often need care for additional years), the $275,000 price tag can quickly deplete a family's assets.

While long term care insurance can offer a financial buffer against long term care costs, the Connecticut Partnership offers an additional and crucial level of protection. What distinguishes the Partnership and why all but 44 states developed similar (and reciprocal) partnerships is its Medicaid Asset Protection. Simply explained, because of the Medicaid Asset Protection feature of Partnership policies, individuals decide how much of their assets they'd like to protect, and then only purchase an amount of insurance equal to the value of the assets they wish to protect. For every dollar that a Partnership policy pays in benefits, an equal amount is protected from Medicaid “spend-down” rules. Only Partnership policies provide Medicaid Asset Protection in addition to providing extensive consumer safety features.

Those who attended the meeting were encouraged to ask questions and given a folder of information that further explains the details of the Partnership and why long-term care policies are an increasingly important preemptive weapon in the battle for financial security as we age. If you wish to learn more about how the CT Partnership can protect your family, your assets and your estate plans, please contact Aldo Pantano at also.pantano@ct.gov.

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