Checking my Google alerts for long-term care (LTC) mentions, I found this useful and correct piece by Terry Savage, someone I greatly respect because she researches thoroughly (“Long-term care combined with life insurance solves problems,” Chicago Sun Times, January 24, 2011).
Then I came across this harmful piece by Anne Teregesen of the Wall Street Journal (“The latest long-term-care snafu,” Wall Street Journal, Personal Finance, January 22, 2011.) Here’s what I had to say to her:
Dear Ms Teregesen,
While you got your info correct in this recent article, it is a pity that you chose to place all the emphasis in this piece on old policies without mentioning that policies placed from the 90’s on don’t have these restrictions and work like a charm. Furthermore, the number of these old-old policies is small – a point you also failed to mention. Rather than “spook” consumers away and give them one more reason to procrastinate and not have a conversation about responsible LTC planning, I wonder why you could not have at least mentioned that the statistics are that over 95% of all LTC claims get paid. Normally, the reasons LTC claims don’t get paid are that trigger criteria aren’t met or the claim is incomplete. If the claim is incomplete or incorrect, we correct it, re-submit, and the claim gets paid. The claims process is pretty uncomplicated. It’s becoming quite routine for home health agencies and assisted living facilities to complete claim paperwork. There are plenty of sources for these facts that you failed to use. So now you have one more column with a negative spin on responsible LTC planning. You have further discouraged the vast wave of Baby Boomers, who are already ill prepared and who will probably need lots of long-term care in a giant bulge, from considering reasonably priced LTC. Because of your inadequate research, you have done the public a bad service.