Long-term Health Care Preparation


Since the establishment of the North Star Brokerage division in 1996, North Star has stayed tuned into the topics of aging and Long-Term Care. Population demographics, skyrocketing care costs, lack of support in traditional and government health plans all combine to make Long-Term Health Care a silent crisis at the national level- one that continues to grow in magnitude as baby boomers inch closer to retirement. Accordingly, it has become an absolute necessity to prepare for the likelihood of living a long life and the possibility of needing care.

Most people over 65 will need some kind of medical and/or personal care for months or years because of a health issue or the natural decline of eyesight, hearing, strength, balance and mobility that comes with aging. Your path will be unique to you, and based on your preferences and circumstances.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is a range of services and support you may need to meet your health or personal care needs over a long period of time. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as eating, bathing, dressing, transferring (the ability to move from place to place), using the toilet and maintaining continence. It also refers to the supervision some people need when suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Who needs care?

There are a number of factors that affect the possibility you will need care including your age, gender, health status and living arrangements. While younger people need care from time to time due to accidents, strokes, and other illnesses, typically the older you are the more likely you’ll need care. Accordingly, since women outlive men by several years, they are more likely to need care. And when women outlive their husbands, they tend to live alone meaning care must be provided by another, often an adult child or paid caregiver.

Who Will Provide Care?

Long-term care services and support typically come from an unpaid caregiver who may be a family member or friend. However, it could also come from a nurse, home health or home care aide, and/or therapist who comes to the home. Furthermore, there are a variety of long-term care facilities such as Assisted Living options and Nursing Homes.

Caregiving can be very difficult for spouses & loved ones. It can affect their careers, interpersonal relationships, and overall health & wellbeing due to the physical & emotional toll.

There are three different ways to pay for long-term care services:

  • Rely on the government
  • Self insure
  • Transfer the risk

Discussing these different options can help you properly prepare to address potential long-term care needs.

Why Plan Ahead?

Regardless of how Long-Term Health Care needs are addressed, preparing for that stage crucial. Too many families wait until the injury or illness occurs and then are forced to make very important decisions, often blindly and while under extreme stress. Adequate preparation helps families care for loved ones better and longer and lessens the potential for irreparable damage to their physical, emotional, and financial health. 

Chris Sitek, CLTC, CASL™, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC
Vice President of Long-Term Care & Brokerage

Sitek_Chris_2010_Web.jpgChris joined North Star Resource Group after graduating from St. John’s University in 1996. Following a two year stint as a personal financial advisor, Chris accepted a new role as manager of external insurance brokerage. While he was Brokerage Manager, the division grew twice the size and the Brokerage Division became one of North Star’s consistently top performing business units.

Chris specializes in the Long-Term Health Care segment of an overall financial strategy. He partners with advisors to evaluate clients’ total financial pictures in order to determine how to deal with the risk of needing Long-Term Health Care. Tailoring the coverage selection to clients’ specific needs and desires is crucial to ensure proper conveyance of their wishes when care is needed. Furthermore, suitable preparation can spare families the devastating toll long-term care takes both financially and emotionally.

Chris is a Registered Representative of Securian Financial Services, Inc. and CRI Securities, LLC.