How can life insurance help pay for costs and care while I’m still alive? I thought it just paid out when I died?
I recently read an article in the InvestmentNews (Feb.24, 2013; Mary Beth Franklin; Alzheimer’s Presents Risks to your Practice) that reported the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to nearly triple within the next 40 years. That projects out to be an estimated 13.8 million people affected by this disease. Wow!! To put that into perspective that’s almost a third of the estimated US population of 438 million in 2050 (http://www.pewhispanic.org/2008/02/11/us-population-projections-2005-2050/). So what are the chances that you may be one of those Americans with Alzheimer’s? Currently 13% of people 65 and older are afflicted with it. But, almost 50% of those 85 and older have the disease. Throw in some family history and your chances become greater.
While this disease impacts the victim, and their family, in a variety of ways one of the hardest to deal with is financially. The vast majority of care given to the Alzheimer’s patient is provided for by their family and is unpaid. This is typically the case with those with mild to moderate cases. But don’t let the term “unpaid” throw you. Although the care isn’t being provided through an assisted living facility, nursing home, or care home there is still certainly direct and indirect costs. But, if the primary care is provided through one of the above listed methods the cost can become prohibitive for most. In 2012 the average cost for an assisted living community nation wide was $4,762 per MONTH. The cost for a nursing home was $6,935 per MONTH. Most families find it hard to pay between $57,000 and $83,220 per year and therefor have to assume the care at home; which brings up questions of family continuity as well as quality of care. So the question becomes, “How do we pay for the kind of care my family member needs and deserves?”
How about life insurance? Of course if you’re familiar with the concept of life insurance you probably know that it should more accurately be called death insurance. We carry life insurance so when we die our family that’s left behind will be covered financially. But how does this help the Alzheimer’s patient who is still living? One of the current trends in life insurance products is the concept of the living benefit. While not new, more and more policies are giving the insured the ability to utilize their “death benefits” to pay medical and care costs while still alive. This doesn’t only apply to Alzheimer’s. It can also apply to a variety of other terminal, critical, and chronic conditions. In most cases this is a rider (an add-on) that you purchase at the time you buy your policy. But there are life insurance policies (permanent as well as term) that include the ABR (accelerated benefit rider) at no extra cost. This allows the insured to utilize the life insurance benefits when they most need them. Does your current policy carry a rider that allows you to use your benefits in this way. If not, or if you just want more information, ask your local financial planner or insurance broker. They can give you more details. If you don’t have a financial planner or insurance broker Integrity Financial Solutions of Henry County is available to help you in any way that we can. For a free consultation you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-373-9285. You can also find us on Facebook (Integrity Financial Solutions – Henry County).