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Do Your Parents Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care: the odds against it aren't long at all

Maybe you think that you'll be the lucky one, that your parents won't need long-term care, but the statistics indicate that we're living longer and the need for long-term care is more likely. Also, parents living alone (especially women, who have a longer life expectancy then men), are more likely to need long-term care without a spouse or partner available to help out.

The cost of long-term care isn't low, either

Long-term care can also be expensive. What's more, Medicare, Medigap, managed-care programs like health maintenance organizations, and indemnity medical insurance plans don't pay for long-term nursing home care or for assisted living. Although Medicaid, a state-administered federal welfare program, will cover the costs of long-term care, your parents must be legitimately impoverished to be eligible for it.

If they're not prepared, your parents might find their lifetime savings and their assets quickly depleted by the cost of paying for long-term health care. As their child, you'll want to help them protect those assets (and your own inheritance) from being eroded by long-term care costs. One solution to this dilemma might be long-term care insurance (LTCI).

Help is on the way

Generally, LTCI helps pay for the care of an individual who can no longer independently perform the basic activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting, due to a cognitive disorder, illness, or injury. A comprehensive policy will cover skilled, intermediate, and custodial care in a variety of settings, including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, adult day-care centers, or the insured's own home.

The cost of LTCI policies can vary widely, depending on many factors, including the coverage selected and the age and health of your parents. The younger and healthier they are, the less expensive the insurance will be--but the longer they might pay for it before they really need it.

Who most likely needs the help?

Deciding whether to purchase LTCI will take some careful consideration. LTCI might be right for a parent if at least some of the following criteria apply:

  • He or she is between the ages of 40 and 84
  • There's a family history of Alzheimer's disease
  • He or she has significant assets to preserve as an inheritance or to gift to charity
  • He or she has an income from employment or investments in addition to Social Security
  • The cost of the premiums will not exceed 5 to 7 percent of your parent's annual income (or yours, if you're paying the premiums)
  • He or she is healthy enough to be insurable

Information provided has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be accurate, but we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Data and information is not intended for solicitation or trading purposes. Please consult your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation. Neither AXA Equitable nor any of the data provided by AXA Equitable or its content providers, such as Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., shall be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for the actions taken in reliance therein. By accessing the AXA Equitable website, a user agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of the site including not redistributing the information found therein.

Please be advised that this materials is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this material is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transactions(s) or matter(s) addressed and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY). Securities are offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, NY, NY 212-314-4600 (member FINRA / SIPC). AXA Equitable and AXA Advisors are affiliated companies, do not provide legal or tax advice and are not affiliated with Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

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GE 65708 (05/2012)