Do you have long-term care insurance? If you don’t, you might still want to read this article anyway. It will help you with some of the same terms that Medicare uses. I did my radio show this week on this very topic. If you would like to get some more in-depth help, you can listen on Tuesdays at 1:00 on KYDN 95.3. I also am on the KYDN website under On-Air tab at the top left corner (https://kydncountry.com/answers-in-aging/).
Let’s get into it. Your long-term care insurance policy is one that you have paid a great deal for over the years. You don’t need to lose that money just because it is very difficult to make a claim. Let me help today. The first thing you need to do is read your policy. You may say, Carol, I don’t want to and it’s too hard to understand. That’s ok. Read it anyway.
Decide today that for the month of May you will read your policy each day for the next 30 days. Promise yourself you’ll hang in there and read at least a little bit each day and look up words you don’t understand. You will be amazed how much better you understand it by the end of May. Take notes. While you read your policy take notes of your understanding.
I could also tell you to call your insurance company to ask questions. However, don’t call until you have studied it thoroughly and are ready for that call. Don’t go in cold on a call to the insurance company. They are difficult to reach. The first person who answers the phone may not be completely familiar with your policy. And, your policy is different from all the other policies other people have. I have never seen one policy that is the same as another person’s policy even within the same company. Once you are armed and ready with some knowledge of what your policy says, only then make the call to ask questions.
The next huge issue I find with people who have long-term care insurance policies is that they don’t want to use them. They don’t want to use them too soon. I understand that, however, I will tell you I have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars go back to the insurance company because the policy was not exhausted. You never know what is in your future.
Using your policy now can give you the help you need to stay strong for the long run. At this point, you may be saying you don’t need help yet. Well, that’s a big topic for discussion. Usually, when I see folks in their homes, I can see where they have made adaptations to function.
Let me give you an example. Have you had to adjust your bathing practices because you just can’t get in and out of the shower like you used to? Are you afraid of falling in the bathroom? Maybe you don’t take showers as often anymore because you are concerned. You qualify for help with one of the ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) called “bathing.” Just because you don’t need someone to bathe you entirely, you still need assistance. You can tell the insurance company that.
When you call to make a claim, you’ll have a person asking you questions about what kind of assistance you need. This is where you do not brag about how independent you are. This is where you are honest and explain in detail how difficult taking a shower really is. Next week we will go into Part II and get deeper into making a claim.
God Bless You for hanging in there. Getting older is hard work. We need you. You are making a difference in our lives. We need you. Don’t forget. God Bless You and God Bless the United States of America!