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Choosing a Long-term Life Insurance Plan

It is inevitable that many of us will require long-term care at some point in our lives.  The average cost of such care is somewhere around $70,000 annually, which is much more than most of us can afford.  This is precisely why purchasing long-term life insurance is necessary.  While it’s easy to understand why anyone would want to buy such a plan, it isn’t all that clear on how to best go about doing so.  Unfortunately, not all plans are created equal, which is why lawyers from the non-profit group Consumer Watchdog have filed suit against the Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (SHIP), according to a news story released by KABC-TV of Los Angeles.

Dr. William Hall, of Upland, California, purchased a policy from SHIP several years ago in an attempt to prepare for his future.  He didn’t want to be a burden on his family or deplete their finances if and when he required long-term care.  He filed his first claim about three years ago but has gotten little in return from the insurer.  In fact, Hall has paid nearly $95,000 for medical expenses while his insurance policy, which he has regularly paid in to, has only contributed $9,000.  According to Hall’s attorney, Samuel Bruchey, there have been several exchanges of information between his client and the insurance company, all of which seem to lead to the same dead-end.  Hall has submitted the proper paperwork, while SHIP claims they haven’t received it, or are still missing pieces.   The insurance company has released a statement that they are currently reviewing the situation.

Ric Romero, reporter of the original news story, provided several tips to try to avoid such situations if you are considering purchasing a long-term life insurance policy.  He recommends that you thoroughly know what the policy will and will not allow before buying.  Do some research in order to learn of any customer complaints or reviews that the company has received.   Also, be sure to look at the company’s premium rates over time.  Have they stayed consistent, or is there evidence of premium hikes?  And finally, since you’re likely to purchase a policy years before you’ll actually need it, be sure to choose a reputable and financially secure insurer.  Hopefully, with a little education and research, you won’t have to deal with the difficult situation that the Hall family is currently facing.

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