As a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, you are entitled to take advantage of official ISBA-endorsed voluntary benefits programs from Marsh Affinity Group Service. These programs can save you money on daily expenses, as well as provide essential financial protection for yourself and family.
This article will focus on two plans: Long-Term Care Insurance and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Long-Term Care Insurance—For the Best Value
You may have read about how it is wise to prepare for needing assistance with common activities of daily living. By 2030, one in five Americans over 65 will need long-term care of some kind.1 And the average annual cost of long-term care in a nursing home is almost $78,000.2
Long-Term Care insurance can help pay for this expensive care if you don’t have the means to pay for it yourself. This way, you avoid sacrificing your retirement savings, paying down assets to qualify for Medicaid, or burdening your family.
However, since there are so many Long-Term Care insurance plans available, it is difficult to know which gives you the best value.
As an ISBA member, you have the advantage of the Long-Term Care Resources Network. The buying power of ISBA was leveraged to give you better pricing than is available to the general public. You are not tied to one plan; instead you and a U.S.-based representative determine which plan combines affordability with the level of care that suits you best.
Your cost depends on your current age and health status, but your premiums will not increase due to changes in your health status or your age. (They may change only if the carrier changes rates for everyone in a state, or age class). Your parents and parents-in-law can also apply for coverage through the network.
A Medicare Supplement policy, also known as a Medigap policy, is a fee-based add-on to Medicare that helps pay some of the costs basic Medicare doesn’t cover, such as some doctor’s office or hospital procedures, as well as prescription drugs. You must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B to apply for a Medicare Supplement policy. The ISBA-sponsored plans are underwritten by Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA.
In most states you can choose among ten ISBA-sponsored Standardized Plans; however, all 10 may not be available in all states.
The ISBA plan includes the following features:
• You cannot be canceled as long as you pay your premiums when due.
• Preexisting condition limitations are waived if you are replacing a Medicare Supplement or primary hospital and medical reimbursement coverage you have had for six or more months (three months in MN, WA and WY)
• Your spouse can apply for an ISBA plan if he or she is enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B, and can continue in coverage after you die.
• Payment options include quarterly, semi-annual or annual billing; electronic and credit card payments are available at no charge.
For further information about any of the ISBA-endorsed insurance plans and purchasing programs, contact Marsh at (800)-321-1998 or visit <http://isba.healthinsurance.com/hi/>. ■