Archive for April, 2014

Top 25 Most Expensive Markets for Long-Term Care Coverage Revealed

Insurance company, New York Life, and long-term care administrator, Univita Health, identified the 25 most expensive markets for long-term care coverage based on the average annual rate of a private room in a nursing home.

The regions that have the most expensive markets are:

Market Annual Rate of Private Room in a Nursing Home
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $159,359
Anchorage, AK $156,950
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ $155,180
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY $155,180
Hartford, CT $154,118
Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, MA $146,372
Rochester, NY $141,244
San Diego, CA $135,554
Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA $131,750
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA $130,283
Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE $129,239
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $127,130
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $126,932
Portland, ME $121,910
Honolulu, HI $121,154
Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD $120,709
Sacramento-Yolo, CA $120,322
Boise, ID $118,475
Milwaukee-Racine, W $118,005
Manchester-Nashua, NH $117,264
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL $116,931
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY $116,577
Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA $115,165
Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI $114,716
Portland Salem, OR $111,909

San Jose, Boise, and Detroit are new additions to the list, while Anchorage dropped to second place from last year.

Univita Health asked 2,500 skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and home health care providers to complete 10,000 surveys between January 2013 and December 2013. Through their certification process, they were able to collect the data in a standard format.

Increasing Need and Cost

most expensive markets for LTCStatistics show that there is a rising need for long-term care services, especially now that baby boomers are entering retirement and senior years and more people are living longer. As the need rises, so does the cost of long-term care. According to a separate study conducted by New York Life, the average cost of nursing home care in the US has increased by 20 percent in a span of five years, from $73,935 in 2009 to $95,706 in 2014.

However, nursing homes are just one side of the spectrum. In fact, 50 percent of long-term care insurance claims start with home care, and its hourly rates have increased by four percent since 2009. When home care is no longer sufficient to meet a person’s needs, a transfer to an assisted living facility may be warranted. The rates of this care facility have hiked up by 34 percent in four years.

Overall, the cost of long-term care is not just about nursing homes. It’s about the series and levels of care that a person receives in the home, assisted living facility, and nursing home. Combined expenses from these settings can easily deplete a family’s savings.

Advantage of Having LTCI

Long-term care insurance also accounts for rate increases in long-term care settings through inflation protection. Through this feature, the benefits of a policy are increased over time to be at pace with the changes in cost of care rates.

With long-term care insurance, individuals can protect their assets and families from the financial breakdown that a long-term care event can bring. Apart from that, having a policy means having control over the kind of care that you will receive. It gives you more options and the freedom to decide according to your preferences.

Location: An Important Factor in LTC Planning

As you prepare for long-term care, it’s important that you know where you will receive care because cost of care varies per region. When you’re aware of the cost of care in your area, you will have an idea on how much long-term care insurance benefits you need or how much you need to save should you wish to self-insure for long-term care.


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4 Myths about Long-Term Care


With costs in today’s world of health care, do not let some myths lead you to future difficulties that affect your health, savings, and interpersonal relations. The following are four assumptions about long term care, along with the reality about them: Only Retiring Senior Citizens Necessitate Long Term Care. Although people aged in the 60s and beyond are often seen as long term care recipients, this does not mean young and middle-aged adults should not even bother thinking about this type of care.

According to US federal government data, an estimated 40-percent of care recipients are aged between 18 and 64. The caregivers and nurses who are involved in long term care look after other people aside from seniors who experience frailty, dementia, or severe arthritis. You can develop a chronic ailment like diabetes whether you are a 28-year-old or a 48-year-old. Accident-related injuries and impairment with mobility – conditions that occur at any age – are best dealt with long term care.

Staying in a Nursing Facility Means Hardship. Nursing facilities are designed to fulfill their residents’ medical needs. A prevailing idea attaches this care setting to an institutional environment. Some concerns involve lack of privacy, restricted freedom, and discomfort.

In fact, you can go through a health complication as comfortable as possible in a nursing facility. You might even have your private bathroom, and meals served directly to your living space. Today, nursing facilities take steps in accommodating smaller groups and improving resident satisfaction. These forerunning care providers choose a community-based approach instead of an institutional one.

Find the right nursing facility for you by conducting research, asking other people, and visiting potential care settings personally.

Years of Savings Suffice for Care Expenses. Even 20 years of personal savings might not be enough to maintain care services and a facility stay for a prolonged period of time.

A year of staying in a nursing facility currently costs approximately $84,000. Five years ago, that same care cost $76,000. Calculating the exact cost of care for five to ten years proves to be challenging; after all, rates of long term care services climb steadily. This situation even becomes more challenging if you face budget constraints and financial hurdles.

The Medicaid federal program only assists the most indigent among fellow citizens who need care badly. Enrolling for long term care insurance gives you better prospects with paying for care.

Insurance for Long Term Care Equals Insurance for Disability.

As a matter of fact, disability insurance and long term care insurance are dissimilar. Yes, it is true that disability is one of the conditions that necessitate long term care. Remember: disability insurance makes up for income loss due to an ailment or accident that results in absence from work. This type of insurance does not pay for skilled and custodial care services in a given care setting. An insurance policy for long term care, on the other hand, does that exactly.

Visit this website for more news about long term care.

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History of Long Term Care

Long term care has evolved greatly nowadays giving people myriad of long term care services to choose from. Since more people are requiring long term care today about 70% of older adults who are 65 and above, the care industry has come up with different facilities that can cater to the needs of individuals. There are some who will need extensive care while others will just need little assistance in carrying out their ADLs or activities of daily living. Since people have different needs the ltc industry has come up with different types of long term care facilities that will perfectly suit everyone’s needs. This time around individuals can choose from facilities like nursing home, assisted living facilities, adult day care and CCRC’s.

Personal Health Care Blog

Long Term Care can trace its beginnings all the way back to the 12th Century in England. The English built homes for the aging whom could not be supported at home. The shelters gave way to long term care facilities associated with monasteries. The first known institution in the US for the poor and aging was in Philadelphia in 1722 followed by New York City two years later.

The United States began to invest in the aging population in the middle of the 20th Century with the Social Security Act in 1935 which was followed by Disability and Medicare Acts in the 1960’s. This allowed for nursing homes to be built and funded.  Following the nursing home boom private Home Care Agency’s began to open to fill the needs of those whom wished to remain in their homes. The private Home Care Agencies allowed people to live in their homes long term.

Personal Health…

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Couples Often Disagree about Retirement Planning and Decisions

retired-couple-300x199Couples, even after years of being together, still have conflicting views about certain issues, including retirement. Identifying the common disconnects among couples about retirement can help them create common goals to work toward.

According to a study done by Fidelity Investments, 36 percent of couples disagree on where they will live during retirement. More so, 32 percent have opposing standpoints on whether or not they will work during retirement, and only 43 percent reported that they make investment decisions for retirement as a couple.

Women are stepping up, but their Engagement is still considered Low

As compared to previous years, women are becoming more proactive when it comes to making financial decisions about retirement. However, their participation is still considered low, according to the study.

The percentage of women taking a key role in making long-term retirement decisions doubled from 19 percent from 2011, which is a remarkable change. More so, 24 percent of women respondents report that they are taking primary responsibility for daily financial decisions, which shows a 9 percent increase from 2011.

However, only 2 in 10 women said that they have little to no participation in making daily decisions, even if 45 percent of these decisions are made jointly. Also, women are found to be more confident that their spouses will assume financial responsibility.

Overall, women still show a low level of financial confidence, involvement in decision making, and engagement in investing.

Top Advice that Married Couples Give to Newlyweds

Fidelity Investments asked the study’s participants to give their advice to the next generation of newlyweds on retirement and financial decisions and management. Of all the advice, these three tips stood out:

  • As a couple, it is important that you make financial decisions together. (51%)
  • Create a budget and stick to it. (42%)
  • Maintain an emergency fund that amounts to at least six months of your expenses. (41%)

Other Tips

As you prepare for retirement as a couple, here are other tips that can help you.

  • Work as a team. Avoid blaming each other. Instead of focusing on each other’s financial flaws and spending mistakes, work together in correcting them and making your own share of sacrifices in order to attain your retirement goals.
  • Constant communication is the key. All the while you may think that you and your partner have the same outlook for retirement only to find out that you have opposing views and expectations. Once you discuss your options, you will be able to figure these things out, find ways to work on your retirement differences, and eventually, reach a middle ground. That way, you have a clearer focus and more specific goals that you can work on achieving together.
  • Have a retirement checklist. Prior to making the decision of when you will retire, make sure that you have important areas covered such as the retirement income that will sustain your lifestyle during these years and contingencies such as long-term care and health conditions.


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LTC on Demand: ‘Derek’, a bittersweet drama-comedy set in a nursing home

Although television has often touched on caregiving through individual characters, the British television comedy-drama “Derek” has caregiving as its focus and is available to U.S. viewers via Netflix.

The series is set in a nursing home and focuses on the caregiver at the home with Ricky Gervais playing as the 49-year-old Derek Noakes, a nursing home caregiver at Broadhill Retirement Home for the elderly who has worked there for three years.

Derek portrays the nursing home’s workers and residents as people who are labeled “outsiders”. The characters “struggle against prejudice, government bureaucracy and constantly shrinking budgets to care for the elderly residents who depend on them.”

Although it dwells in a fictional setting, the problems and scenarios are easy to relate with since most are based on real-life situations such as managing residents, health care issues, dealing with physical, mental, and emotional issues of the residents, raising money for the nursing home, and passing away.

Last fall, Netflix introduced “Derek” to subscribers and it stars Gervais (The Invention of Lying, The Office [UK], The Ricky Gervais Show) who is also the series’ creator, writer, and director and first aired in the UK on April 12,2012.


Derek Similar with other works of Ricky Gervais, Derek is filmed in a “mockumentary” style. The show stars, and was written and directed by, Ricky Gervais.

The series also features Karl Pilkington (The Ricky Gervais Show, An Idiot Abroad, Extras) as Dougie, the caretaker at Broadhill, Kerry Godliman (Spoons, Extras, Life’s Too Short) as Hannah, an employee of Braodhill for 15 years, and David Earl (Extras, Cemetery Junction) as Kev, an unemployed person who lives with Dougie and often hangs around Broadhill.

The show takes place in a simple nursing home in most episodes, surrounded by the characters that hang out at the facility minding their own lives. These characters vary from typically aged to otherwise different-from-the-norm and are composed of residents, repairmen, caretakers, other caregivers, or a random, homeless people.

The series featured other settings to show how the characters interacted with other people at stores, bars, and at the seaside.


The character “Derek” is based on one of many characters made by Gervais, who also made an appearance in the stand-up show “Rubbernecker” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001.

Gervais’s character, Derek, can be noticed that he would often go beyond his work’s regular tasks and job description so he can help the residents that he cares for. The character could be described to be suffering from somewhat, lacking in some mental faculty.

However, Derek’s perky, odd, and shy personality is overshadowed by his gentle, truthful, and courageous spirit. His hobbies include watching reality television shows and game shows. He shows that he has interest in celebrity figures, fame in general, any YouTube related subjects, and most of all, his passion about animals.

Derek is tender, always active in giving help, unselfish, and always has good intentions. His noticeable childlike naivety and lack for show of intelligence makes him vulnerable.

He is often ridiculed, ostracized, and marginalized by mainstream society due to his social awkwardness, physical appearance, and unrefined expression of thoughts.

In the pilot, Derek is found to be fond of Joan, a resident at Broadhill. He often talks about how he learned many things from Joan and has taken the message “It is more important to be kind than to be clever or good-looking.” to heart.

During the pilot, Joan dies and it leaves Derek in pieces. Derek often talks about how Joan taught him things he never even learned at home. This was mostly because he and his mother were left by his father when he was still a baby, and his mother still loved his father.

Many media sites describes Derek having autism, however, Gervais has stated that Derek is not intellectually challenged, but simply stereotyped because, “nearly half of children with an autism spectrum disorder have average or above-average intellectual ability — an IQ above 85 — compared with one-third of children a decade ago.”

Gervais said in an interview that the program was inspired by his relatives who work in care homes: “Half my family are care workers. My sister works with kids with learning difficulties. My sister-in-law works in a care home for people with Alzheimer’s. And four or five of my nieces work in old people’s homes. I always write about what I know.”

He also often stated that Derek is his favorite character, even more than “David Brent” (The Office) and “Andy Millman” (Extras). Gervais added that he enjoyed playing Brent and Millman, but he has a genuine love for Derek as a person.

The series showcases what goes on in a retirement home including the workers and residents. It also shows the problems encountered by nursing home employees and how they deal with it.


DerekThe series has received mixed reviews from those who find the show entertaining or those who find it offensive.

Some critics defend the show and even Garvais.

It’s best to watch the show first prior to looking into what critics said about it. Derek as a character may seem unrealistic but he makes the audience realize the hard truth about how we are treating elders and how we should be treating them.

Kevin O’Sullivan, Sunday Mirror‘s TV columnist, says. “Brave of Ricky to risk the wrath of the PC police by playing a character with learning difficulties.” He also adds, “Why exclude the “Dereks” of this world from fictional dramas? They exist in real life.”

Jack Seale said in Radio Times that Derek, “…is un-cynically presented as a hero who is, in Gervais’s words, ‘better than us’ because he lacks ego and guile and merely wants to be nice. Those seeking to take offense at Gervais’s portrayal of Derek will have to look hard”.

Other critics find Derek as unfunny and full of cheap situations that setup its audience.

Ian Hyland, a writer for Mail Online, says, “As well as being written by, performed by, directed by and edited by Ricky Gervais, Derek is also spoiled by him.” He also says, “His hammy performance as Derek Noakes is the biggest letdown of the entire show. Moreover, as a character, Derek is the least believable and least interesting thing in it.”

“…cartoons have been less under-written than this.” says Caroline Frost of Huffington Post

Derek reminds us how we should hold on to our ideals when we were young and how far kindness can go. Society has put too much emphasis on improving intelligence and physical appearance but less on how we should treat each other.

Audience need to see beyond Gervais and focus on the character, Derek and how he interacts with the people in the show and how he sees the world differently.

If you’re into drama-comedies, you may want to check out Derek. If you’re not into the mentally challenged, socially awkward, and elder related issues, you may not like this show.


“It is more important to be kind than to be clever or good-looking.” – Derek

“Kindness is magic”–Dougie

“They deserve all the same pleasures as everyone else. Just ‘cos they’re old, weak and poor – they’re forgotten.”– Hannah


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LTCI: Combining your Options



On average, people who buy long-term care (LTC) insurance pay more than $2,000 per year. A married couple might pay twice that amount. Some people are reluctant to pay that much, year after year. If they never need long-term care, they’ll get no benefit from spending those thousands of dollars. One solution is to buy a Alternative Health Plans Not Skimming Off the Healthy A recent report finds no support for the contention that alternative health insurance plan designs with “consumer-driven” or “high-deductible” features skim off relatively healthy enrollees from the general eligible population. The report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, involving health plans in general, underscores assessments by the Office of Personnel Management regarding the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. When such plans were introduced into the FEHB during the Bush administration, organizations representing retirees, especially, expressed fear that those designs would be especially attractive to younger and/or relatively healthy persons who expect to use relatively little health care. Their concern was that such persons would concentrate in those plan options, leaving other FEHB enrollees with a less desirable risk pool and thus higher premiums and/or lower levels of coverage. In the time since then, however, OPM has consistently said that there has been no such “adverse selection” effect on the FEHB. A GAO report supported that position, concluding that enrollees in such plans tend to be higher-income persons drawn to them by the tax advantages, not healthier people drawn by the potential for savings on premiums. The EBRI report found that persons age 21-34 with the choice of such plans actually are less likely to enroll in them. In fact, it said, the highest rates of enrollments are among older persons. As with the GAO report, the study found a correlation with the desire for tax saving among those at higher earnings levels and thus higher tax rates.

Visit this website for more information about long-term care insurance and retirement planning.


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Advice For Baby Boomers On How To Have “That Talk”

In my opinion, the best time to talk to older adults or your parents is during Thanksgiving. Take advantage of this festive season to spend time with your family and discuss about important things such as their future long term care needs. For me this is the best time because everyone is present and therefore they can voice out their opinions regarding this pressing issue. Adult children shouldn’t be afraid to initiate the talk because it’s more difficult to face this predicament without a sound strategy. Here’s how you can start initiating the talk about long term care:

The Insurance Barn

I watched my grandfather have to take care of my grandmother in the 1960s and my mother care for my father in the 1980s while they suffered from HD, before they died.

A few years later, my brother and oldest sister were stricken with the same disease.  After several years of caring for them, by my brother and sister-in-laws, they also succumbed to Huntingdon’s disease.

The advice the Joan Lunden gives in this interview is sound advice for all Baby Boomers to consider.

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