It is estimated that more than 70% of Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives. Yet, the average American underestimates the cost of long-term care by almost 50%. Depending on the type of care needed, the cost of long-term care can range from $48,000 to $100,00 or more a year!

The need for care may develop suddenly as a result of a heart attack, stroke or injuries from a car accident, or develop gradually with age or when a chronic illness gets worse. Planning now will give you the opportunity to protect yourself from the full effect of the high costs of long-term care.

A long-term care rider is an optional add-on to a qualifying life insurance policy that provides financial support if you need hands-on daily care from a nurse or a health aide for long periods of time. This care can be received at your home or in health care facility.

Adding the long-term care rider allows you the flexibility to use the benefits as needed: for long-term care expenses, for retirement income or to pass along as wealth.

Here are a few reasons to take a closer look at a Long-Term Care Rider:

1. No receipts are required. Once your physician certifies that you need and are receiving long-term care, you’ll start receiving your checks – to use however you want, whether it’s paying for professional care or helping out a family member.

2. Your condition can be temporary. A rider covers long-term care expenses associated with conditions that may not be permanent, such as a mild stroke or orthopedic repairs.

3. Helps you keep pace with the rising costs of long-term care. A rider is one of the only ones in the industry to allow you to choose Death Benefit Option B. That means that your benefit can potentially grow with the policy’s cash value.

4. The policy cannot lapse while the policy is on a long-term care claim. The policy is guaranteed to stay in force until the benefit amount is exhausted.

5. You can get “reimbursed” for expenses that occurred during the Elimination Period. Once the Elimination Period has been satisfied, we provide an additional optional “retroactive payment.”

6. You can choose to receive 1%, 2% or 3% of your benefit as payments each month.

7. Ownership is flexible. While some riders limit to whom will be paid indemnity benefits, we don’t. Under a rider, benefits will be paid to a policy-owner who is an individual, a business owner or a trust.

8. There’s no “use it or lose it.” If you don’t need the long-term care benefit, you have access to the policy’s cash value to supplement your retirement needs. Or, if you don’t need that either, your policy’s death benefit will be passed along to your beneficiaries.

To learn more about the benefits of a long-term care rider, please contact Fahmy & Associates today at (703) 760-4630 or email us at

— Ken Fahmy