I usually have a discussion with almost every estate planning client that I meet with about long term care insurance.  Some clients respond by saying, “I’m too young to need that” to which I respond – ever heard of Terry Schaivo?  She was only 26 years old when she collapsed and was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state.  She did not have long term care insurance to pay for the cost of her care in the nursing facility.  She received money from a medical malpractice lawsuit which probably paid for a lot of her care and, after that ran out in approximately 2002, I would presume that she was on Medicaid to help pay for the cost of care.  I use her as an example of why your estate planning documents need to be done (no matter what the age), but she’s also an example of why it may be a good idea to have long term care insurance (no matter what the age).

Another example of why it is a good idea for younger people to consider long term care insurance:  a client who was in his 50’s and working as a CPA when he was involved in a hockey accident which left him a quadriplegic.  He had no disability insurance and no long term care insurance – his wife had to retire early from her job in order to take care of him, and they had two children in college.  If he had long term care insurance, he would at least have money to pay for some of his care, instead of being faced with having to qualify for Medicaid to care for him in a nursing home.

I met with my own insurance advisor a few weeks ago (and yes, I do have long term care insurance and disability insurance) and was provided with these statistics:

  • The odds of your home being involved in a fire: 1 in 1200
  • The odds of your car being totaled in an auto accident: 5 in 1200
  • The odds of being hospitalized at some point in your life: 105 in 1200
  • The odds of needing long term care in the future: 720 in 1200

 Is that enough to get you to talk to someone about long term care insurance?


Elder Law Expert and Estate Planning Attorney, Laurie Ohall, offers legal assistance for families in the Tampa Bay area, including Brandon, Florida.  If you would like to schedule a free phone consultation, contact her office today.