The Long-Term Care Savings Plan: Allowing Nebraskans to take control

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By Shane Osborn

Long-term care is a topic that is growing in popularity these days and for good reason—it accounts for the single largest cost to the medical field today. Considering a majority of Nebraskans may only have a partial understanding of the subject, it’s more important than ever that you know the facts and be informed.

And facts are unsettling.

Fact: When an individual enters an assisted-living facility, statistics dictate they will run out of funds within four to six months.

Fact: In Nebraska, the average annual cost for a private assisted-living facility is just under $54,000.

Fact: In 2004, more than $160 billion was spent toward long-term care services and by 2050 experts predict that number will swell to $379 billion.

Fact: Medicare and private insurance will not cover most long-term care services.

In 2006, Nebraska lawmakers devised an innovative plan to offset these costs while at the same time providing a service to their constituents eager to take control of their future long-term care needs. It’s called the Nebraska Long-Term Care Savings Plan (LTCSP), and Nebraska is currently the only state in the country to offer such a program.

The LTCSP is administered by the state treasurer and allows individuals to deposit up to $170,000 per person for the life of the account. Withdrawals from the account can be made at any age for a variety of long-term care services, including in-home assistance; adult day care; monthly premiums to an assisted-living facility; home modifications, such as adding a wheelchair ramp; or even long-term care insurance premiums after age 50.

The state of Nebraska allows for a tax deduction of $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for joint filers. Additionally, deposited funds are transferable to a spouse or other person to whom the account holder has an insurable interest and all contributions are completely voluntary.

Any Nebraskan is eligible to participate. There are no pre-screening health requirements and you are not required to own a health or long-term care health insurance policy.

Many Nebraskans have worked hard throughout their lifetime to grow their savings and build a secure financial foundation in order to provide the good life for their family. By participating in the LTCSP, Nebraskans have the opportunity to not only sustain their standard of living by protecting their assets from unexpected medical costs but also ensure that they remain in control of their future medical decisions and ultimately experience the good life, longer!

For more information, visit one of our 19 participating financial institutions across the state, log on to www.thegoodlifelonger.com or call the state treasurer’s office at 402-471-2455.

 

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