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.

Search

Table of Contents

Follow Us

Categories

Contact An Elder Law Attorney

We are legal experts focusing on wills, trusts, medicaid, guardianships, and asset protection for seniors and veterans in Missouri.

Accessibility Toolbar

Educational Seminar at Paths Law Firm

Paths Law Firm provides a Free Educational Elder Law Seminar every month to help you plan for your future.

Community Relations

Jeane M. Fracassa

Community Relations

Jeane M. Fracassa

Jeane Fracassa – a dedicated and accomplished professional who retired with an impressive 38-year service record from the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Throughout her illustrious career, Jeane served as a Civian Supervisor in the Communications Unit, where she played a pivotal role in ensuring efficient and effective communication within the department.

Even in retirement, Jeane’s commitment to community service remains unwavering. Currently, she serves in various capacities within Community Relations at Paths Law Firm. Actively engaged in the Lee’s Summit and Overland Park communities, she proudly represents the law firm.

In all aspects of her life, Jeane Fracassa exemplifies the values of community, compassion, and family. Her commitment to making a difference and her love for exploration make her a remarkable individual, whose presence brightens the lives of those she encounters. Whether at work, with family, or during her travels, Jeane’s genuine care for others and her zest for life make her a truly remarkable and inspiring person.

Administrative Assistant

Laura E. Messer

Administrative Assistant

Laura E. Messer

Laura is the Law Firm’s marketing assistant, supporting all marketing tasks, including managing calendars, researching upcoming events, updating marketing software and spreadsheets, and partnering with organizations to maintain relationships that benefit Paths Law Firm’s clients.  Laura is also the law firm’s professional photographer as she provides the professional photographs for the headshots, organizations, events, and networking.

Laura has over 10 years of experience as a professional photographer.  She is also Adobe and Microsoft Certified.  She graduated from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri with her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Behavioral Psychology (minors in Social Work and Criminal Justice), and her Photographic Craftsman degree from Professional Photographers of America. She is certified as a Qualified Mental Health Professional, Certified Gentle Teacher, Medicaid Billing Certified, Crisis Intervention Counselor, and a Missouri Notary.

Laura has been married more than 26 years and has a daughter and a son. She has four brothers, a niece, and a nephew. Her four spoiled pets that love her attention. A lot of Laura’s off time is spent taking photos and she is an internationally published photographer. Laura owns a studio on the historic Independence Square. 

Administrative Assistant

Holly D. Bramble

Administrative Assistant

Holly D. Bramble

Holly is our newest member of the administrative team. She is hardworking, has proven organizational skills and excellent communication skills. Holly has transitioned to the Estate Planning field from healthcare administration where she gained valuable knowledge that has contributed to her success here at Paths.

Holly enjoys spending time with loved ones, cheering for the Chiefs, and relaxing on the beach.

Administrative Assistant

Tressa L. Purdy

Administrative Assistant

Tressa L. Purdy

Tressa has the important role of being a client’s initial point of contact as the law firm’s receptionist for all locations.  She also welcomes, assists, and cares for clients at the Lee’s Summit office. Additionally, she provides support in an administrative capacity for the attorneys, staff, and clients.  When you meet Tressa, the first quality many note is her readiness to be of assistance.

 

Tressa is a graduate of Park Hill High School with extensive administrative experience and executive level management. Tressa brings a stability and comfort to the law firm experience having worked in a variety of industries and having lived in six different major metropolitan cities.

 

Tressa has a daughter, two sons, and one grandchild.  In her free time, she enjoys her family and friends, loves being outdoors, gardening, bike riding and bird watching. Indoor hobbies include scrapbooking, painting cookies, and cheering on Chiefs football. She is a Kansas City native but enjoys traveling but is always happy to be back in her hometown.  

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

Kathleen Overton is an attorney and owner at Paths Law Firm. She has more than 17 years of experience advocating for those with special needs and navigating the state and federal agencies formed to help the disabled and elderly. At Paths Law Firm, Kathleen’s practice focuses on helping the elderly qualify for nursing home Medicaid, creating estate plans to protect beneficiaries, as well as a lot of time planning and forming businesses. Kathleen also enjoys helping clients form non-profit organizations and obtain 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

 

After attending law school at the University of Oklahoma, Kathleen began representing clients before the Social Security Administration. Eventually her practice switched to federal court appeals and Kathleen spent years representing clients before the Eastern and Western District of Missouri, the District of Kansas, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kathleen has since focused her practice on estate planning and elder law after watching clients struggle to find ways to financially care for loved ones with special needs or aging parents.

 

Kathleen lives in the Northland with her husband and four children. She spends her free time attending soccer matches and ballet performances with her children and starting endless home improvement projects with her husband. 

Medicaid paralegal

Tena K. Dooley

Medicaid Paralegal

Tena K. Dooley

Tena is a Medicaid Paralegal.  She is very meticulous and organized.  She works closely with the attorneys, clients, and State representatives. 

Tena has an associate in applied science and has over 20 years of office management experience. She has two daughters and one grandson.

Tena enjoys spending time with her family.  She enjoys everything outdoors and her hobbies include fishing and gardening.

PARALEGAL & ACCOUNTANT

Sydney R. Morris

PARALEGAL & ACCOUNTANT

Sydney R. Morris

Sydney is the law firm’s internal accountant and one of their experienced paralegals having been with Paths Law Firm since 2017. She is a primary point of contact for estate planning and business planning.

Sydney graduated with honors from the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2022 with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. She is a Bloch Launchpad, Phi Theta Kappa, and National Honor Society alumni.

In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, baking and going on long walks. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Christy L. Phillips

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Christy L. Phillips

Christy has three years of experience in elder law working for seniors and their families. She is currently the Senior Administrative Assistant and organizes the day to day functions of the office and makes sure everything runs smoothly. When asked why she loved what she does, Christy said at Paths Law Firm, she gets the opportunity to help clients in more ways than one. Her favorite parts of the job are getting to know the clients and helping them get their questions answered. 

Christy’s experience in the finance industry has been extremely beneficial to her role as the Senior Administrative Assistant. Christy has a special place in her heart for the elderly and attributes this to the relationship she had with her grandparents. 

Christy was raised in Ogden, Utah and moved to Independence, MO, when she was ten years old. She has been with her high school sweetheart for 25 years and they have two beautiful children together. Her daughter works in the medical industry, and her son currently attends High School and plays Baseball. When Christy is not working, she enjoys crafting and spending time with her family and friends.

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 A. Fracassa

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

In her spare time, René is currently quite active managing multiple generations of her family, including parents and grandkids.  René has had great impact on the lives of many women teaching discipling and teaching and abundance of Bible Studies. Her former career in management and event planning trained her well to juggle all the activity.

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary R. Tichota

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary R. Tichota

Hilary plays a vital role in managing the Marketing Department at Paths Law Firm.  She is excellent at bringing new ideas and sharing valuable resources with the law firm and our community. Hilary has been with the law firm since the beginning, working in nearly every role which is invaluable in her marketing endeavors as she brings a unique set of skills into the Marketing Department.

Hilary is nearly complete in her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Marketing at Park University.  She has earned the honor of being listed in National Honors Society, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Dean’s List. Hilary is always looking for new and innovative ways to share the law firm’s message.

While not working, Hilary spends her time with her family at their rural home. They tend to their chickens and honeybees and enjoy the solitude of country living.

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer A. Bronson

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer

Jennifer is the Sr. Paralegal and Operations Manager at Paths Law Firm.  She oversees the firm’s probate department as well developing, implementing, and managing all the firm’s administrative processes having been with the law firm almost from the beginning.  She enjoys client contact as well as behind-the-scenes operations.

 

Jennifer began her legal career in 1990 as a legal secretary.  She has worked in small and medium sized firms, as well as court operations.  She has her Paralegal Certificate from Boston University, Law Office Management Certificate from University of Central Missouri, and she is a Master Financial Coach. 

 

Jennifer has two daughters, twin sons, and twin grandsons.  She spends as much time as she can with them.  She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and tending her yard. 

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

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 more than 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 an accountant and his first couple years practicing law was as a tax attorney. This provides invaluable experience in his current practice of law. Rusty’s focus is helping protect seniors’ assets from taxes and long-term care costs, benefit qualification, and navigating more complex family scenarios in their estate planning.

Rusty has personally experienced the loss every parent fears, caring for a spouse suffering with cancer and the treatment, and working with aging parents through all stages of their lives.  He intimately understands the challenges faced by individuals and their caretakers when capacity or health declines, how to prepare for it, and the legal matters while in the midst of it.  He may not be able to eliminate his client’s grief, but he strives to provide clients with peace of mind.

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.

Rusty has multiple degrees and advanced study spanning his Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration – Accounting at Rockhurst College (now Rockhurst University), Masters of Arts in Accounting and in Intercultural Studies, as well as his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law.

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