About EPI

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of us will need help with things like dressing, bathing, meal preparation and remembering. Family members often help out but that gets real old real fast. The experience can literally tear families apart.

“Everyone has a story.”

It may be difficult for you to imagine yourself needing that kind of care but you probably know somebody who does. You better start planning for it.

It’s not just about IRA’s and 401Ks. You are at risk of having to spend all your savings on long term care.

Signs | Essential Plans of Insurance

Signs People Know You Are Aging

1. No one expects you to run…anywhere
2. The things you buy don’t wear out
3. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac
4. There is nothing left to learn the hard way
5. Your investment in long term care insurance finally pays off
READ MORE >>

EPINH | Policy Changes

Payers Offer 10 Ways to Improve Cost, Quality of Long-Term Care

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners urged Congress to make a number of policy changes that would bolster the long-term care sector as it faces an aging population.
The emerging crisis in long term care will require some dramatic changes in IRA’s, HAS’s and other funding vehicles to help people buy the protection they will need. READ MORE >>

Top 10 Misconceptions | EPINH

Top 10 Misconceptions About Saving for Medical Care

10. Workers just aren’t estimating how much health care will cost them in retirement.
9. People with just a high school education or less, and whites, are slightly more likely than those who went to college, and blacks, to have attempted to figure it out.

Click to read the rest of the top 10 MISCONCEPTIONS >>

That kind of care gets paid for in one of three ways

Z

Qualify for Medicaid

(that’s the government’s poverty level and assets need to be spent down!)

Use Up Your Savings

Short Term or Long Term Care Insurance Contract

Getting ready for it is better than dealing with a crisis when you may not be at your best. Our work is to help people through the Medicare maze and provide the necessary legal and financial tools.

The idea is to be smart about it:
protect your money, avoid family turmoil,
and be able to make choices for yourself.

What our clients are saying…

"It has been a very rewarding partnership"

Katherine Cook and Jennifer Walichnowski, The Maids of Southern NH

"They deliver current and accurate information… We really enjoy working with them."

Larry Yerdon, Strawbery Banke Museum

"Jim Better has been our trusted advisor for a long time"

Wayne Barbaro, Amesbury Chair Co.

"They present information in layman’s terms and treat us as if we are part of their family. Keep up the good work!"

Ann-Marie Miller, New Hampshire Historical Society

Emotional

4 Signs of Cognitive Impairment and Why Early Detection of Memory Impairment is Important

1. Difficulty doing familiar things in their life.

Having problems with activities of daily living (ADl’s) or any activity that is part of their normal routine such as cooking, cleaning, or performing regular jobs skill could signal an issue.

2. Difficulty remembering things that happen in the last day.

Alzheimer’s and dementia affects recent memory so memory problems within the past 24 hours could be a red flag.

3. Sudden behavioral changes.

If your loved one is suddenly depressed, quiet, agitated or acting out of the norm, this may signal a problem.

4. Having trouble keeping a conversation.

The following problems in conversation could be an indication of memory impairment:

  • Asking the same question repeatedly, without remembering the answer
  • Not referring to people by name
  • Vagueness and lack of details in conversation

5 Most Important Financial Questions to Ask Your Parent

1. Do you have a durable power of attorney?

2. Have you updated your will, insurance and retirement account information recently?

3. Do you have plans or insurance in place to pay for long term care?

4. Who is advising you?

5. Where is all the important information: passports, social security cards, bank accounts, etc.?

How Boomers Should Approach Aging Parent Issues

Long Term Care Insurance

Boomers who had a rough time getting through ‘the talk’ with their kids might find that there is another uncomfortable discussion they face – the one with their parents.

Get yourself mentally and emotional prepared. Think about how you would want to be talked to in the same situation. Keep the conversation casual and as clam as possible. The conversation will be counterproductive if your frustration and anxiety comes through.

 

Show your support with regular communication. It is easier to talk about ‘touchy’ areas when you are already in the habit of talking about everyday things. Ask questions about their life, what they are doing and their concerns. Asking for their advice can also make them feel more valued.

Holidays can be a good time to talk about the future. However, telling them that it is not safe to live alone with everyone around the holiday table is not a good idea. Take them aside and voice your concerns and potential fixes.

Regarding financial information, it may be best to use the indirect approach. Break the ice with stories like: Phil and Doris are having trouble paying their utility bills or Frank had to get a part time job to make ends meet. This might help them open up about their personal financial situation.

If you hear that they are getting financial advice, it would be helpful to know from whom.

It’s still their life so when talking about moving to a long-term care facility present options that include in-home care or moving in with a friend or relative. Leave them feeling that they are still in control and can make their own choices.

For more information regarding Alzheimer from Dr. Wes Ashford click:

Read Discussing Alzheimer’s with Aging Parents

Financial

The cost of long term care depends on where it is received. The four stages begin with staying at home and receiving care from a variety of providers such as, family, home health aides and visiting nurses. This would also include Adult Daycare. The next stage is Assisted Living. This generally means a one room or a two room suite in a group setting with others in the same condition. Then nursing home care with specialty nurses and doctors. The fourth stage is hospice where efforts are limited to making the patient comfortable.

The cost also is different depending what state you are in and the level of care you need. The cost of care is generally lower in the south and higher in other parts of the country. Click on the link to see what it cost in different zip codes.

Cost of Long Term Care by State

Options with Long Term Care Insurance Policies

There are 3 kinds of policies…

 

1. Traditional contracts

Traditional contracts provide benefits for long term care only. This means that if you don’t use it, it doesn’t pay anything. Similar to auto or fire insurance policies. These polices have a unique value for people who live in a Partnership state. Under these conditions, the Medicaid ‘spend down’ formula changes. Medicaid allows for the retention of $119,000 that does not have to be used for long term care. In Partnership states, the value is increased by the face amount of the policy. For example, Jim buys a $300,000 traditional Long Term Care Policy. Because he lives in New Hampshire (a Partnership State), the spend-down stops at $419,000.

2. Hybrid Long Term Care Policies

Hybrid Long Term Care Policies function differently. These contracts are really life insurance policies with a long term care rider. With this type of policy, the death benefit can also be used for long term care. For example, Jim decides to by a $300,000 hybrid policy because, if he is one of the 1/3rd of the population that will die before they need long term care, the policy will pay off. There is no ‘use it or lose it’. Unfortunately, these policies are not eligible for the Partnership Plan.

3. Short Term Care (STC)

Short Term Care (STC) policies are new to the market and offer lower premiums for a shorter period of coverage. Under Hybrids or Tradition contracts, benefits can be available for 2 years or life time. The STC’s cover only up to 365 days.

Useful Links:

Kiplinger Quiz: 10 Things You Should Know About Long Term Care
Social Security Planner
Expenses to Ditch in Retirement

Contact us today to get started. 
Call 603-431-2393.

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Essential Plans of Insurance, LLC

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