KIRKLAND, Wash. — A few months ago, members of Congress asked the Social Security Commission to clear up a misperception of many Americans approaching retirement age. “A lot of seniors had the idea that Medicare would cover their long-term care expenses,” says Cameron Truesdell, CEO of LTC Financial Partners LLC (LTCFP), one of the nation’s largest and most experienced long term care insurance agencies. “It wasn’t so, but the wording of the Social Security Statement left some doubt.”
Congress asked for clarification. The Social Security Commissioner, Michael J. Astrue, responded with a letter saying the wording of the Social Security Statement — found at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement/sample4.htm — would be changed to make the meaning crystal clear. The section titled “About Social Security and Medicare” now reads as follows (emphasis added):
“Social Security pays retirement, disability, family and survivors benefits. Medicare, a separate program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, helps pay for inpatient hospital care, nursing care, doctors’ fees, drugs and other medical services and supplies to people age 65 and older, as well as to people who have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years or more. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, so you may want to consider options for private insurance.”
“This clarification is long overdue,” says Truesdell. “Only about 10% of those who should have long term care insurance do. Part of the reason may be simple misinterpretation of what the government meant.”
“It is vital for millions of Americans to do what the statement says, look into private LTC insurance options,” Truesdell continues. “There’s now no room for doubt. Paying for long-term care is beyond the scope of Medicare. It’s also beyond the scope of ordinary health insurance.”
Truesdell’s organization includes about 500 independent long-term care insurance agents. “Our experts are available to advise all Americans and American companies on their options,” he says. “In the private sector, we’re the people to come to when you need to know whether the insurance is right for you, and which carrier or policy best fits your situation.”
LTCFP’s experts answer questions, by phone or in person, in all states. A listing of them, by state, is available at http://www.ltcfp.com.