Generations Magazine interviewed Mike Yee on his expertise on long-term care insurance (LTCI) and to learn more about this important policy and common questions asked.

GM: I understand you are a national leader in the LTCI industry. Could you elaborate your accomplishment?

MY: Actually, I happen to be the # 1 LTCI producer for John Hancock in the US for 2010 and 2011, which includes some 51,000 agents nationwide. That was not something I was striving for, as I would give it up any day if it meant that more professionals understood and recommended it. The results were more a reflection of my conviction, knowing what I know now about aging and long-term care.

GM: Is caregiving a huge problem in Hawai‘i and why? Where do you see these important long-term care issues in the future?

MY: The number of people needing care in Hawai‘i is staggering now and will grow in the future. There is a difference between being a companion, care manager, and caregiver. Family and friends have personal and financial lives of their own, increasing the demand for private paid homecare, assisted living, and nursing home care services. How to pay for these services is the challenge. There are already concerns about not having enough money from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Currently, there is LTCI, life insurance with LTCI riders, and annuities with LTCI riders. Each with benefits and drawbacks; no “one size fits all.” Hawai‘i will be best served by combining public and private resources and advocating advanced financial planning for LTCI, sooner is better than later. Heading off now could be a win-win for all, better for the senior, better for the caregiver, better for the state, better for all.

GM: Do you have LTCI and why?

MY: At age of 54, my wife and I both own LTCI. We bought it at a time when we still have a mortgage, private school tuition, and college costs ahead of us. After a required physical to participate as assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts, my doctor told me that I had high blood pressure and the beginning of diabetes. He gave me an ultimatum, “either lose 25 lbs. in the next 6 months or go on medication. Diabetes and high blood pressure can’t be felt. Left untreated, you can either have a stroke or heart attack.” Affordability and insurability have no correlation. I was smart enough to know it could happen to me; and if it did, I worry more about the ones I love and what would happen to them, than myself.

For more information, please contact Michael W. K. Yee at (808) 952-1240

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