Medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., even among middle-class, well- educated homeowners. Poof! If you’re not independently wealthy, all of the financial fruits of your career may be jeopardized by just one bad illness or injury.
One way to help prevent such financial disaster is to make wise choices about your benefits. But many feds do not fully understand all of their options involving health care coverage — particularly involving Long Term Health Care (LTC) insurance. So here is some practical advice about LTC insurance that I’ve gathered through extensive research of my own options as a fed and via real-world experience.
First, a definition of LTC: It is care needed to complete the Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as dressing, eating and bathing. It may be needed because of ailments associated with old age or because of accidents or serious illnesses occurring at any age. LTC may be provided in homes, assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Contrary to popular belief, most LTC expenses are covered by personal/family assets — not by standard health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid for people who don’t qualify for welfare.
Most current and retired feds, their spouses and adult children are eligible to apply to the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Probably the best kept secret in government: the parents and parents-in-laws and stepparents of eligible feds may also apply.
*FLTCIP screens new feds and new spouses of feds less rigorously than other applicants.
FLTCIP does not offer indemnity policies, which are offered by some private companies. Under such policies, the claimant receives his entire daily benefit in cash every day— which he can use as he chooses, no matter which services he has used on any day.
Learn more about the FLTCIP at http://www.ltcfeds.com.
Lily Whiteman is a federal communications expert and author of “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job” and a trainer on career advancement skills and communication skills. Her website is IGotTheJob.net. Email your career questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and view her blog at blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-careers.