Consider these statistics: ; Every 10 minutes, 700 Americans
suffer an injury severe enough to
require medical help.1 ; Three out of 10 workers between
the ages of 35 and 65 will be out
of work for three months or longer
due to an accident or illness. 2
You insure your house, your car, your health and
your life. Why not insure your paycheck? After
all, your paycheck allows you to live in your
house, drive your car, maintain your well-being
and take care of loved ones in the event of your
death. What would you do if you didn’t receive
that income for an extended period of time?
If you don’t have enough sick days or money
in savings to cover your full absence, you may
be among the 75 percent of workers for whom
missing work for three months or longer would
create a financial hardship. 3
Have you planned for long-term care?
Planning for your long-term care needs is a
very important personal and financial issue.
It’s particularly significant if you’re approaching
retirement. You’ve worked hard to retire
comfortably, but long-term care expenses
could quickly cost you everything you have.
Seventy percent of people turning 65 will need
some type of long-term care during their lifetime.
Moreover, women typically outlive men by about
five years and are therefore more likely to live
alone, increasing their need for outside assistance. What is long-term care?
Long-term care can mean many things. The most
common type is “custodial care.” This includes
services that are not typically medical. Rather,
they include help with personal tasks or activities
of daily living such as bathing and dressing.
Other services include assistance with taking
medications and preparing meals. Though these
services may seem minimal, they can be very
expensive if you need to pay someone for them.
What does it cost?
According to the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services website, the daily cost for
homemaker services in Massachusetts in 2013
was $144.18; an assisted-living, one-bedroom
residence cost $162.70 per day; and a semiprivate
nursing home room cost $365 per day. When you
add it all up, you can see that your retirement nest
egg could quickly be absorbed by these costs.
Limitations of Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare provides benefits only for “skilled care”
in a nursing home. It does not cover the “custodial
care” that you may receive at home or in a nursing
home. On the other hand, Medicaid will pay for
both skilled and custodial care, but only in a
nursing home. To become eligible for Medicaid,
you must first exhaust nearly all of your assets.
The need to plan is real, and it is your responsibility.
Only by planning can you protect your ability to
choose how you will receive care and how best
to pay for it. Purchasing a quality long-term care
insurance policy is one way to protect yourself.
The MTA offers a premium discount to members
who purchase coverage through Mutual of
Omaha. To learn more, call the specialists at Vista
Financial Group at 774.551.0013, extension 104.
20 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 800.336.0990 • Fax: 617.557.6687
No dues dollars are
ever used to market MTA
Editor: Elizabeth A. Bejoian
The MTA Advantage is published three times a year as
a supplement to MTA Today by MTA Benefits, Inc.
MUTUAL of OMAHA
If you’re unable to work due to a covered illness or injury, disability insurance
replaces a portion of your income. Covered circumstances might include
a back disorder, cancer, hip replacement, broken leg or foot surgery, for
example. The best time to get disability coverage is before you need it,
when coverage is guaranteed and you are not required to answer medical
questions. For MTA members, that time is now through May 15.
Are you aware that as a teacher in Massachusetts, you are not
eligible to collect disability benefits from Social Security?
Therefore, you may not have disability protection.
Enrollment counselors will be holding on-site meetings with members
of participating locals during the open-enrollment period. Members in
those districts should watch for an MTA benefit counselor in their schools.
Local presidents who would like to learn how easy it is to offer the
program to their members – either by bank draft or via payroll slot – may
call Tom Colbert at 774.551.0013, ext.104.
Details of the plans can also be found at
1 National Safety Council, Injury Facts (2013)
2 Society of Actuaries, Commissioners Individual Disability Table A (1985)
3 Consumer Federation of America and Unum, Employee Knowledge and Attitudes about
Employer-Provided Disability Insurance (2012)