Contact 2: Taking care of your long-term care

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ARNOLD, Mo. – “Everything was going smoothly until May 24 of 2016. I had a brain aneurism and a mild stroke,” said Jeannine Clontz.

Clontz survived her life-changing medical emergency. Nearly four years later, she learned a safety net purchased to protect her family in the event of a similar situation didn’t pull through.

”They finally told me they couldn’t help me even if they wanted to, because they no longer sell long-term care insurance,” she said.

Jeannine is referring to a long-term care policy American Family Insurance wrote for her husband more than a decade ago. While she was sick, money was tight. Unbeknownst to her, the premium wasn’t paid and the policy lapsed.

“We started the policy when my husband was 47. Now he’s 64. Trying to get long-term care insurance at his age is extremely expensive,” Clontz said. “I’m willing to pay back all of whatever we owed so that we can get reinstated.”

Clontz couldn’t resolve the matter with American Family or the Missouri Department of Insurance.

“That’s when I decided to get in touch with Contact 2, explain the situation, and see if there’s any help for me,” she said.

Fox 2 contacted American Family insurance. The company told Fox 2 it stopped offering long term care insurance in 2003. The company still services policies from that era that are current but doesn’t write new ones anymore. When the Clontz’s missed the 90-day reinstatement period in 2016, the policy lapsed.

“I just don’t think it’s fair that they get that extra $13,000. They did nothing. We never made a claim. Long-term care insurance, I believe, is different than like your home insurance or auto insurance. They’re saving that money up for you to use later in life,” Clontz said. “That’s why I believe I should get that money back and be able to roll it into another plan.”

The American Family Insurance representative Fox 2 spoke with acknowledged the unfortunate nature of the Clontz’s situation but said the premiums they paid won’t be refunded. This story serves as an important reminder to develop a family plan for the unexpected. That goes for finances, health care directives, and more.

For more information on getting your affairs in order, visit: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/getting-your-affairs-order

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