Long-term plans help local family in crisis

By Lia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Luke Daniels says he couldn't imagine what his life would be like if his parents didn't have long-term care insurance in place.

"That would have been a nightmare," he said.

Daniels' mom died of cancer at 84-years-old, just five months ago. His father also died of cancer, but died quickly and didn't even time to use the insurance. It was nice to know it was there, if he had recovered. He said having the policy allowed his mom to die peacefully at home, while taking the financial burden off the family.

"She wanted to stay home and was able to get good quality care to come take care of her," he said. "She had good care. I was fortunate because she made the decision."

Barbara Franklin, with Franklin & Associates, says people should plan ahead before a crisis.

"You want to make sure you have the funding in place, the network in place, even from long distance."

She says often times the insurance helps care for the elderly who are not going to recover, but need help basic daily activities, like dressing and eating.

"Insurance is the best way we know of to plan ahead," she said. "Asking most people walking around they would think some government program pays for it. They have not had any experience with it and they assume there is some place they can turn. That's not true. Medicare is not intended for extended long term care."

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of people who reach 65 will require long-term care.

The average age for people considering long-term care is 55 to age 65. Franklin recommends folks doing their homework prior to signing up.

"It's very important to work with a company that's going to serve as your advocate as opposed to calling an 800 number and get the kind of runaround you hear about sometimes," she said. "You want someone who knows the nuances of that policy, knows how to read the fine print and can cut through some of that red tape if they arise."

She also recommends looking into the company's reputation.

"Look for a company that's been in the industry for a long time. Speak to other people about the claims experiences with that company. Speak to the agent helping you about claims experience," she said.

November is Long-term Care Advocacy Month. During this time, Franklin & Associates will offer a complimentary policy review during the month.