Forced to Hire Nurse Ratched

Geordie M. Hrdlicka and Ali Nasser

Jack Nicholson’s character did not have a choice in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. You can lead a healthy lifestyle and decrease your chances of relying on extensive health care but, in the end, you cannot control whether you experience a long term health care event caused by a severe illness, accident or Alzheimer’s. However, you can take charge of how you pay for it.

There are so many facets to healthcare it can feel overwhelming. Add in the fact that we are still wading through the implications of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, and you may feel like throwing in the towel. Don’t! According to recent reports from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, 70% of Americans age 65 and older will need Long Term Care (LTC) at some point in their lives. These expenses are generally not covered by Medicare or traditional health insurance; rather they are usually paid out of pocket or covered by LTC insurance or some hybrid solution depending on your financial and health situation.

Why bother with LTC? There are many reasons. One of the most common is the desire not to burden your family with your intensive health care needs. Having the money to pay for care so your family does not have to serve as your nurse does not completely eliminate the strain but it does provide relief. It also gives your family the opportunity to spend time with you in a more meaningful way.

Have no family or, frankly, the burden doesn’t bother you? Well, then we return to Nurse Ratched. Having the funds to pay for LTC gives you options to choose the type of care you receive and where you receive it, e.g., in your home or at a facility. Nurse Ratched may show up but you have the option of turning her away in favor of someone else. Without LTC insurance or a similar solution, you potentially forfeit your choices. At the very least, you will have to deplete your personal funds to pay for such unglamorous health care assistance as “toileting” or “feeding” rather than using them to upgrade your favorite personal comforts such as your TV or reclining chair.

As always, there are many intricacies to LTC coverage and how it should be integrated into your overall financial plan. Therefore, seek professional advice when determining which solutions and how much coverage may be appropriate for you.
Prior to investing, you should consult a financial advisor and read all available information. The examples given are hypothetical, for illustrative purposes only. The product features mentioned must be sold by prospectus and carry investment risk. Investment advisory services offered through Verde Wealth Group, LLC, a state registered investment advisor. Securities offered through ValMark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. 130 Springside Drive, Suite 300, Akron, Ohio 44333–2431. 1–800-765‑5201. Verde Wealth Group, LLC is a separate entity from ValMark Securities, Inc. © 2016 Verde Wealth Group, LLC. All rights reserved. This article was initially published August 2012.

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