Sometimes I do not know whether to be more frustrated with journalists who do not adequately research the topics involved in the aging experience before they write their articles or with the businesses and government agencies that are supposed to deliver critical services and support to folks going through that experience. I guess I will call it a tie, in this instance.
This tantrum is about an article the The Sacramento Bee, a newspaper serving the region, entitled “CalPERS weighs huge premium hike for long-term care“.
So, let’s start with the writer. The article begins,
It’s an old-age safety net offered to California public employees: insurance to cover the exorbitant cost of staying in nursing homes,assisted-living facilities and the like.
Where do we start? First, Mr. Kasler (the writer’s name), do you you know the first thing about the aging experience? Do have any seniors in your family? Maybe you could talk to them about the “old age” thing. If that is not possible, I would be delighted to send you free copies of two books that I have written on The Aging Experience and Topics and Tantrums of the Aging Experience.
Leaving that phrase aside, what’s with the “exorbitant cost” thing? Have you researched those costs? Synonyms that show up on any Google search of the word are, “excessive – inordinate – extravagant – undue”. Is that the case with “nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and the like”? Are their costs excessive or extravagant? You have studied their books, have you?
And then their is “the like” — what would that be? Well, actually, “the like” is peoples’ homes! Yes, Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) can help people age in place, in the homes they have lived in for years and years. We know, because at Support For Home, that is the purpose for which our clients use LTCI.
The focus of the story is the huge premium increase facing CalPERS LTCI policy holders. While CalPERS has been great for us to work with, on behalf of our clients, the fact is that their actuarial studies must have been worse than poor. They are not alone, as a number private companies have stopped selling LTCI products. On the other hand, folks like Genworth are still going strong. Better business minds and statisticians?
At any rate, this is a need that is not going to go away. Despite what the writer says, LTCI is not a “safety net”, it is an asset, a planning tool for the aging experience, to be able to get help with Activities of Daily Living at home, just as important as life insurance or a 401(k) or an IRA. We will talk more about this side of the issue in a future post.
Thanks and best wishes. Bert