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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Long Term Care Insurance Policy

June 16th, 2011 | Posted in Your Health

Fortunately, a record number of seniors are beginning to buy long term care insurance. This is most likely due to increased education and the startling statistics we’re seeing. Most of the individuals that come to me for their long term care insurance policy needs and long term care insurance quotes, do so in order to protect their assets and to insure a choice in the quality of care that they deserve. Of these individuals, the majority that end up needing the care can remain independent, don’t burden family members with constant 24-hour care, and don’t alter their standard of living. For the majority, this is what makes long term care insurance such an obvious choice.

When selecting a long term care insurance policy or getting a long term care insurance

quote, it’s important to look for a policy that not only you can afford but also meets your needs. There are many insurance policies covering long term care available today. Policies can vary widely in terms of benefits they’ll offer, terms of the contract, and features. Choosing the right long term care insurance policy is not simple. Individuals looking to get a long term care insurance quote or purchase coverage should consider the following five important factors:

1. The insurer’s financial strength rating. You obviously want a solid “A” rated company that’s been around for awhile. They are the most likely to keep your premiums stable and honor your claims without hassle.

2. Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). COLA increases your chosen daily benefit each year in order to keep up with inflation. For example, the daily benefit amount might increase each year at a compounded or simple rate of 5%. With the health care costs skyrocketing, this benefit is crucial.

3. Home health care and custodial nursing home care. This gives you the option to stay at home and receive care as well as receive nursing home care, if needed. Most people would prefer to have the option of in home care.

4. Qualified policy. Purchase a policy that is qualified for tax purposes. Currently both qualified and non-qualified policies are generally considered tax-free. However, the IRS could technically deem non-qualified benefit payments taxable in the future.

5. Guaranteed policy. Is the policy guaranteed for life? Make sure the insurance company can’t cancel your policy due to bad health.

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Health Reform in Action

June 16th, 2011 | Posted in Your Health

Health reform makes health care more affordable, holds insurers more accountable, expands coverage to all Americans and makes our health system sustainable.

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Simple Guidelines to Help Protect Your From the Damaging Rays of the Sun

June 16th, 2011 | Posted in Your Health

  1. Minimize sun exposure during the hours of 10am to 4pm when the sun is strongest.  Try to plan your outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon.
  2. Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when out in the sun.  Choose tightly-woven materials for greater protection from the sun’s rays.
  3. Apply a sunscreen before every exposure to the sun, and reapply frequently and liberally, at least every two hours, as long as you stay in the sun.  The sunscreen should always be reapplied after swimming perspiring heavily, since products differ in their degrees of water resistance.  We recommend sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more printed on the label.*
  4. Use a sunscreen during high altitude activities such as mountain climbing and skiing.  At high altitudes, where there is less atmosphere to absorb the sun’s rays, your risk of burning is greater.  The sun also is stronger near the equator where the sun’s rays strike the earth more directly.
  5. Don’t forget to use your sunscreen on overcast days.  The sun’s rays are as damaging to your skin on cloudy, hazy days as they are on sunny days.
  6. Individuals at high risk for skin cancer (outdoor workers, fair-skinned individual, an d persons who have already had skin cancer) should apply sunscreens daily.
  7. Photosensitivity – an increased sensitivity to sun exposure – is a possible side effect of certain medications, drugs and cosmetics, and of birth control pills.  Consult your physician or pharmacist before going out in the sun if you’re using any such products.  You need to take extra precautions.
  8. If you develop an allergic reaction to your sunscreen, change sunscreens.  One of the many products on the market today should e right for you.
  9. Beware of reflective surfaces!  Sand, snow, concrete and water can reflect more than half the sun’s rays onto your skin.  Sitting the shade does not guarantee protection from sunburn.
  10. Avoid tanning parlors.  The UV light emitted by tanning booths causes sunburn and premature aging, and increased your risk of developing skin cancer.
  11. Keep young infants out of the sun.  Begin using sunscreens on children at six months of age, and then allow sun exposure with moderation.
  12. Teach children sun protection early.  Sun damage occurs with each unprotected sun exposure and accumulates over the course of a lifetime.


*The Skin Cancer Foundation grants its Seal of Recommendation to sunscreen products of SPF 15 or greater and sun protection devices which meet the Foundations criteria as “aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.”  For a complete list of products, please send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to:

The Skin Cancer Foundation, Box 561, Dept. SR, New York, NY 10156

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