How much are you willing to pay for peace of mind? Here's something you might want to think about. For the price of a cup of coffee each day, you may be able to obtain valuable protection against the high costs of long-term care you could someday need. That's the kind of care needed on an ongoing basis by people who can no longer perform such ordinary tasks of daily living as bathing and dressing.
Though it's not something most of us choose to think about, there may come a time when you cannot care for yourself-because you've grown old or frail, or because you have an accident or contract a chronic illness. It could happen years from now; it could happen tomorrow. Of the 12 million individuals currently needing long term care, 40% are younger than age 65.* Whenever the need occurs, your expenses for care could be very high. However, if you've chosen long-term care insurance, you'll have a plan you can turn to.
When you qualify for benefits under the Screen Actors Guild - Producers Health Plan, you will be offered the opportunity to purchase long-term care insurance from the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. This insurance helps cover long-term care costs in a variety of locations: at home, in a qualified adult day care center, residential care facility, or nursing home. You can receive services from trained nurses, home health care aides, therapists, and other types of caregivers.
The new program will become effective April 1, 2000. Although the Health Plan will not be paying the cost of the coverage, you will get the benefit of paying group premium rates which are generally lower than individual rates. In addition, if you are an Earned or Retiree Participant, you may be able to qualify for the insurance with simplified proof of good health.
Several different coverage options will be available. Each option has a different daily benefit allowance and lifetime maximum benefit. The premium is based on which option you choose as well as your age. John Hancock will be able to provide you with specific rates for your individual situation. Depending on the maximum benefit you choose when you enroll, you could receive benefits in excess of $1,000,000 for the covered services you receive while you are insured.
This coverage can play a significant role in your overall financial security scenario. Just as you set aside money for your children's education, your retirement, and other special goals, you may want to consider the benefits of including long-term care insurance in your plans for several reasons. First, the coverage enables you to choose the type of care and the location that are right for you. Second, you'll help protect your savings from the escalating costs of long-term care. Third-and this may be of prime importance to many of you-you'll avoid placing an undue burden on those you love, who may otherwise have to sacrifice time and money to assure your care.
You'll gain one more advantage when you choose long-term care insurance, the sense that you've made the decisions that will affect your future rather than letting events shape the future for you. While no one can predict exactly what will happen in the years ahead, it's a good feeling to know that you're prepared-a feeling called peace of mind. Please review the information you receive at your home in the coming months. We encourage you to see if this insurance may help you meet your long-term financial needs and goals.
* Health and Human Services and the Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco.
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