Life, LTC decisions: Denial is not a river in Egypt

Are you one of those people who always orders last at a restaurant? When faced with a decision — tiny or life-altering — do you usually wait until the last minute? Well, if so, this is the last minute. Now. Roll …

What if somebody told you that you have only one day — that is until tomorrow — to make what could be two of the most important decisions of your life? Decisions also directly related to your family and loved ones. We’re talking about rare open enrollment periods for your federal employee group life insurance (FEGLI) program, and important decisions about the federal long-term care insurance premiums, which are going up big time. This is the first open season in 12 years for the FEGLI program. People in the LTC program probably won’t have another open season for 7 years.

First the big one: The LTC program.

By now most of the civilized world (or at least the 274,000 policyholders) knows that premiums in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance program are going up. The average increase is 83 percent, or $111 per month, for all but 10,000 policyholders. But that average covers a range from a tiny increase to as much as 126 percent on the high end.

When the bombshell was dropped, lots of federal workers and retirees followed the classic five states of dealing with grief or sorrow. First there was DENIAL, followed by ANGER, then BARGAINING, DEPRESSION and finally ACCEPTANCE. Judging from comments Federal News Radio has received, many people can’t get past the anger stage. That’s understandable, but not useful.

Unless Congress steps in, folks have until the end of this month — as in by tomorrow — to make their decision: Do they keep their LTC insurance and pay the higher premiums? Do they pick the option that allows them to freeze their premiums by accepting a low-level of coverage, or do they drop their policy altogether? You have today and tomorrow to decide.

FEGLI: Not everybody needs life insurance. But if you want to take care of your family, mortgage, etc., term life insurance, at group rates, is the way to go. During this about-to-end open season, workers have the chance to sign up at group rates without having to undergo medical underwriting. That means people who couldn’t get coverage before because of a preexisting condition or medical problem can. If they act now.

For some quick background on the two open seasons, click here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

Bud Abbott’s mother was a bareback rider for the Ringling Brothers Circus.

Source: IMDB