It’s November, which means three things: open enrollment, turkey dinners and long-term care. Today (Nov. 1) marks the beginning of Long-Term Care Awareness Month, a concentrated push to get employees thinking about how they plan to receive and fund care in their later years.

Since no one agency, nonprofit or other organization sponsors LTCM, there is a variety of sources for employers to find information for consumers on long-term care. Just a few:

* American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. AALTCI’s website offers a wealth of info, including tip sheets on how to save for LTC, insurer ratings, a primer on the CLASS Act and a local cost study. (The site features audio as well. The icon to turn it off is in the top right corner.)

* LTC Network. This site is billed as the “social network for LTC professionals.” That said, it offers some interesting content to help employers and consumers stay informed as well, such as the latest headlines in LTC and elder care news,  blog posts related to LTC, a Twitter feed and a video library.

* Kiplinger. The financial planning gurus compiled a special report this year to help consumers understand LTC and seek out affordable long-term care options.

* Employee Benefit News. What kind of editor would I be if I didn’t point you to the content on my own magazine’s website? Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find:
- Stats showing the lack of communication about LTC.
- How women are more heavily burdened by LTC concerns.
- The LTC “two household” test.
- Information on the CLASS Act, including potential delays to the effective date.
- Details on combo products blending LTC with annuities and life insurance.

"Each year awareness efforts tied to Awareness Month grow," explains Jesse Slome, executive director of AALTCI.  "From a Congressional resolution, to proclamations issued by governors and mayors across America, support for the campaign's goal continues to grow."
 
When it comes to building awareness this month, "it's as simple as asking people if they have a long-term care plan in place," Slome notes, adding that the vast majority of individuals and families over age 50 have no plan in place.  "As the saying goes, a failure to plan is a plan for failure and while insurance isn't a solution for all, everyone needs to weigh their options."
 
So, use this month to help your employees form an LTC plan. After all, everyone wants and deserves to be like these folks when we get older.

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