long term care insurance alternatives

Best Alternatives To Long Term Care Insurance

It’s highly probable we will need extra medical care as we age. At some point, we may even need assistance to take proper care of ourselves. This could even result in residing in a health care facility that will provide daily personal care. Prior to arriving at these facilities, the first step to avoid or delay the need for a health care facility may be using in-home care providers. Either solution has a cost, and the cost may be substantial depending on the needed care. Due to the likelihood of need and the substantial cost, many insurance companies offer what is called long-term care insurance or sometimes referred to as LTCI. Most people have some familiarity with LTCI, or at least the concept. In this article, we will provide a brief overview and provide a little more discussion of the legitimate alternatives to long-term care insurance.

*This blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The use of the Paths Law Firm website does not constitute a client-lawyer relationship.

An Overview Of Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is unique, as its sole purpose is to prepare and provide for the possibility of assisted care or nursing home care. Long-term care insurance will cover many aspects of care, but specifically includes nursing home care costs, personal daycare costs for adults, and home healthcare, when necessary. Of course, no one knows with certainty what the future holds, but making a plan in case it is needed is essential. In fact, planning in advance is a necessary characteristic, as with all insurance; if you need the insurance, it’s too late then to seek it. But, there are alternatives to long-term care insurance that should be considered before purchasing a policy.

Is Long-Term Care Insurance Really Necessary?

This is a question many ask at some point while planning for their own future. It is certainly a legitimate question frequently brought to mind when parents begin to age or a loved one receives a diagnosis bringing an uncertain future with it. Investing in a long-term care insurance policy is always a good idea to discuss with your planning professionals, i.e. financial advisor, accountant, and estate planning attorney. This conversation and planning must be explored before a solution is needed. Part of the discussion should also be the investigation of alternatives to such an insurance policy.

long term care insurance alternative

Short-Term Care Insurance

Instead of long-term care insurance, another consideration in the alternative, or as a supplement, is short-term care insurance. Short-term care insurance policies are designed to pay or supplement the costs associated with preventive care, doctor visits, urgent care, and emergency care. Most policies may also cover prescriptions. A short-term care insurance policy may be more affordable, but has limits in time, daily coverage, or total coverage which you should be certain to check. The cost of premiums for coverage will be based on these same criteria. The term for coverage is usually 180 days to one year. Generally, short-term care insurance policies have no elimination period or waiting period, so the benefits start as soon as the policyholder requires care. An elimination period is common with long-term care insurance policies and they are designed to work as a deductible: basically, they are the number of days one must pay for care before the long-term care insurance policy begins coverage. If a policyholder recovers before all benefits are exhausted, future claims may be filed for additional benefits.

Critical Care Or Illness Insurance

Another alternative to long-term care insurance is critical care or critical illness insurance. This type of insurance pays out cash to the policyholder, usually in a one-time lump sum payment in place of receiving monthly benefit payments. This insurance is designed for individuals suffering from serious conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, or diagnosed with cancer. These benefits can last up to a total of six months. In some cases, monthly benefits will be available but not to the degree long-term care insurance will provide.

Annuities With Long-Term Care Riders

Annuities can be taken out as a way of avoiding the need for long-term care insurance. The IRS has made recent changes so money can be invested annuity-like instruments that can be used, along with the long-term care insurance, to provide income for long-term care issues. This strategy allows a steady stream of payments that are released along with the benefits from the insurance policy. This allows the long-term care insurance to be supplemented by personal funds without tying-up all your investments and not requiring the larger long-term care insurance premiums. You may want to coordinate this plan with an Elder Law Attorney and a Medical underwriting company to assist with payment options.

alternatives to long term care

Deferred Annuities For After Retirement

In the same way, annuities can be used along with long-term care insurance, deferred annuities can also be used to a greater degree. These are applicable after a person retires and in most cases, old enough to qualify for Social Security and Medicare. Since this type of investment is not designated for long-term care, it is an option solely for unexpected expenses. Keep in mind, this money cannot be used to cover anything prior to a person retiring from their place of employment.

Asset-Based Policies

In some cases, a person’s assets can also be more heavily relied upon. For example, if an individual has a 401(k) or other investment, these funds can be reallocated and used for the purpose of long-term care. This may be a last resort as this could be the only money an individual has after they retire.  Financial advisors are usually well versed in these options and are legitimate for combining long-term care provisions and investments in general. This too is an option to combine with long-term care insurance and the alternatives to long-term care insurance mentioned. An Elder Law Attorney and the rest of your team can help you determine what options may be best for you in the long run in order to protect your assets and your loved ones.

Investigate and Get Quotes Before You Make a Decision

There will always be insurance companies providing LTC Insurance. The key is knowing what the requirements are to qualify, the benefits available, and what you need, as well as the premiums or other costs. This should all be compared to the alternative options available to help determine what is right for you. If you choose to purchase a long-term care insurance policy, be sure to investigate the companies you are considering and get quotes from several carriers. It is always best to obtain multiple quotes as some carriers may have discounts available based on military status, good health, marital or domestic partner discounts, or discounts based on associations, common employer discounts, and even multi-life discounts. 

investigating alternatives to long term care insurance

Preparation is The Key

Preparing for the future should always involve financial retirement plans, however, many people don’t always think past the idea of relaxing in their golden years. Having a long-term care plan in case of illness can help remove much of the financial stress and burden. Regardless of the type of policy chosen to protect against long-term care costs, just having a plan puts people far ahead of the curve. In the end, it may be critical care insurance, short-term care insurance, or just one of the other options is all that’s needed. Either way, it’s important to look to the future and prepare for what may occur. Preparing for the future is important and should not be something put off. 

At Paths Elder Law, our experts are here to help. We have the experience and knowledge to help. Our Elder Law Expert will work with you to go through all of the available options to create a future plan with your other professionals to meet your estate planning and long-term care needs. We provide legal services to seniors and their families to provide peace of mind and prevent undue financial stress. Contact Paths Law Firm to schedule your consultation. Thoughtful planning today can help secure your future.

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Administrative Assistant

Ryan D. Foley

Ryan Foley at Paths Law

Administrative Assistant

Ryan D. Foley

Ryan graduated from the UMKC School of Law in 2018 and passed the Missouri Bar that year. Prior to law school, Ryan attended the University of Missouri – Columbia where he attained a degree in Business. He is a Kansas City native, growing up in the Northland where he achieved his Eagle Scout rank by doing a project for his high school. During his time in law school, Ryan was introduced to the practice area of Elder Law by one of his professors and has been

Ryan enjoys working with and educating clients to provide advocacy and support during the unfamiliar and often overwhelming probate process. Ryan understands the challenges faced by individuals when faced by the uncertainty and complexity of government systems or even handling a Trust during a time of grief, and he strives to make the process as easy as possible.

Administrative Assistant

Makaylee A. Morelli

administrative assistant at Paths Law

Administrative Assistant

Makaylee A. Morelli

Makaylee is currently working on her bachelor’s in political science and hopes to soon start law school as an aspiring attorney. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her friends and family but most importantly her dogs Taffyta, Tallulah Belle, and Harry. Their favorite thing to do is go on coffee dates and get pup cups.

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

Kathleen Overton, attorney at Paths Law

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

After starting her career as a disability attorney, Kathleen transitioned into estate planning at a mid-sized regional law firm. Kathleen joined Paths Law Firm in 2021 when she decided to return to a boutique law firm that provides excellent service and quality to clients. Because of her background as a disability attorney, she brings a thorough understanding of public benefits to each client meeting. At Paths Law FIrm, Kathleen focuses on traditional estate planning and business entity formation, providing tailored advice unique to each client’s situation.

Public Benefits Assistant

Tena K. Dooley

Public Benefits Assistant

Amanda D. Martin

I have my Associates in Applied Science and have over 20 years of office management experience. I have two daughters and one grandson.

During my time away from the office I enjoy spending time with my family.  I enjoy almost everything outdoors and my hobbies include fishing and gardening.

PARALEGAL

Sydney R. Morris

Paths Law elder law in Kansas City

PARALEGAL

Sydney

Sydney is currently enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City pursuing an accounting degree and plans to later attend law school.

In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time with her nephews and volunteering at her local church.

 

CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

Christy L. Phillips

client service manager at Paths Law

CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

Christy L. Phillips

Phone: 816-640-8635
Email: [email protected]

Christy has 3 years of experience in Elder Law working for seniors and their families as a Benefits Coordinator processing Medicaid and VA applications. Prior to joining Paths Law Firm Christy worked in the finance industry for over 10 years.

 

Christy’s experience in the finance industry has been extremely beneficial to her role as Benefits Coordinator. There have been many influences that went into her decision to select the field of Elder Law. Christy has a special place in her heart for the elderly and attributes this to her relationship with her grandparents.

When asked why she loves what she does, Christy said that at Paths Elder law, she gets the opportunity to help clients in more ways than one. Her favorite part of her job is getting clients approved for Medicaid or VA benefits as it is a huge relief for them and their loved ones.

Christy was raised in Ogden, Utah, and moved to Independence, MO, when she was ten years old. She has two children that keep her busy and fill her life with joy! Christy’s daughter cheers for Avila University, and her son plays competitive baseball for the Bucks and races BMX locally for the Motorcycle Closeout Team.

When Christy is not working, she enjoys crafting and making homemade gifts for her loved ones and raising her kids to be healthy, happy, and positive humans.

 

Practice Areas

  • Medicaid Benefits
  • VA Benefits

 

Professionalc Memberships and Affiliations

  • Missouri Notary

FINANCIAL MANAGER

René A. Fracassa

Rene A. Fracassa, Paths Law

FINANCIAL MANAGER

René

René has worked along side Rusty for 35 years. Not only is she part of the Paths team, she is also his wife. René spends her time working with the accountant to keep all of the finances in order, as well as general office management.

In addition to helping run the office, she helps manage the family and grandkids, tries to keep everyone fed, and has a passion to teach Bible Studies. Her former career in Event Planning trained her to juggle all the activity. She understands Rusty’s passion to serve people from the first mention of law school. It is a great pleasure for her to be an important part of every area of his life.

 

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary R. Tichota

Hillary at Paths Law

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary

Hilary plays a vital role in the daily operations of the office. In addition to her regular office duties, Hilary has a heart of gold.

For more than 5 years, Hilary has operated the front desk at Paths, running the office and catering to clients. Hilary recently moved into the role of Community Relations Coordinator. She has a passion for people and a focus to share our business practices with the community’s seniors, businesses, and clients. She especially has a heart for seniors, showing they are loved through her visits, treats, the “Pen to Pal” program, and volunteering services at various senior living communities. She is a wonderful wife and mother of two. Most activities with seniors involve her great talent for any type of craft.

 

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer A. Bronson

Jennifer, senior paralegal

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer

Jennifer has been in the legal field for over 25 years and considers Paths her second home.

When she’s not running the office or working for our clients, she’s spending time with her first passion – her children.

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

attorney at Paths Law elder law

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

Phone: 816-640-8635

When asked what he wants to do, his reply was “I just want to sit at the kitchen table and work directly with people.” Rusty enjoys working with clients providing experienced advocacy and supporting them through their unfamiliar and overwhelming situations. Due to all the challenges faced by seniors, it is essential to work with an experienced elder law attorney who has expertise in the law, issues, and concerns affecting seniors and their families.

Rusty brings nearly 30 years legal experience and expertise working for seniors and their families as an elder law attorney in Kansas City and surrounding. Prior to law school, Rusty was a practicing accountant. This provides invaluable experience in his current practice of law. Rusty decided to put his focus on helping the elderly, vulnerable adults, and their families navigate challenging life, end of life, and death events.

Rusty understands the challenges faced by individuals whose capacity is declining and how upsetting the loss of a loved one can be. He understands he may not be able to eliminate his client’s grief from loss, but he strives to provide clients with peace of mind. Rusty works directly with client’s long term care issues, including Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Special Needs Planning.

In 2010, Rusty’s faith and love led him and part of his family to China as Christian missionaries. He and his wife, went permanently, but ended up dedicating 3 years to that ministry. They returned to Missouri to help with grandchildren after a family tragedy and later began anew with Paths Elder Law. The goal is providing compassionate care through legal advocacy.

When Rusty is not practicing law, he enjoys spending time with his family, grandchildren, and excessive eating at local restaurants.

 

Practice Areas

 

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Asset Protection
  • Medicaid Benefits
  • VA Benefits
  • Probate
  • Guardianship and Conservatorships
  • Education

 

BSBA and Master’s in Accounting, Master’s in Inter-Cultural Studies, and Doctorate in Juris Prudence

  • Rockhurst University
  • Liberty University
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City


Admissions to Practice

  • Missouri


Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • State Bar of Missouri
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (long-time Member)
  • Elder Counsel (Charter and Ongoing Member)
  • Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (Past Member)
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Missouri State Bar Committees – Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate