March 31, 2010



My weekly column is going to be quite different this week. I usually try to write an upbeat column. Give you something to smile about as you go out to feed cows, drive truck, wait on tables, or get the kids ready for school.
But today I am going to give you a little information that, I hope, may someday help you.
This week, I received a letter from Mutual of Omaha attempting to sell me cancer insurance. Now, I’ve recently lost friends to cancer. I don’t know, but I sincerely hope they had adequate insurance.
I also sincerely hope, that if they had insurance, it was not with Mutual of Omaha.
My mother has nursing home insurance with Mutual of Omaha.
Mom is in her mid-80s. She and Dad came down last summer for my sixtieth birthday. They came down to have a beer and supper with us. There are not a lot of people whose parents can help celebrate their 60th birthday. I’m lucky.
A few weeks after that, Mom had to enter a home in Minot. That was in the end of August. One thing that was a relief to her, and I might add, to Dad, was that she had paid into a nursing home policy from Mutual of Omaha for years. A lot of years.
I guess maybe I was brought up different. Maybe it is just a cowboy thing. But there are sayings like “You ride for the brand.” Or “If you take a man’s wages, you give him a day’s work.” Or, “You get what you pay for.” Sometimes, that is.
Since Mom went in the home, we have learned a lot. You don’t always get what you pay for. At least when it comes to nursing home insurance.
You can go to almost any coffee shop in the morning, and start up a conversation about nursing home insurance. You can go to “happy hour” at the bar and strike up a conversation about nursing home insurance. You can walk down the hall at the nursing home, or sit in on breakfast and find disillusioned customers.
I don’t know if the new health care bill fixes this. I hope so.
I know a lot of people need something fixed. I know there are families that don’t have the “connections” that we do. I was in the legislature. Mom was in the legislature. My wife is in the legislature. My niece is a state’s attorney. So you understand that we know a little bit about what works and what doesn’t. We have worked through the insurance commissioner. Through the agent that sold the insurance. We’ve called and written and protested.
Still nothing. After seven months.
And now Mutual of Omaha will sell me cancer insurance, even if I’ve had cancer!
And the headline reads… “APPLY NOW! And this time next month, you can breathe a little easier.”
Yeah, right.
I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Here are three things you should find out if you have long term care insurance.
Find out if it covers assisted living. Many old policies were purchased before this came into being.
Find out if you must spend ninety consecutive days before coverage begins.
Find out what the criteria is on “dementia.”
Mutual of Omaha thinks assisted living is like choosing to go to the spa.
It’ll make me rest easier to know that we are doing some good with this.
Man, I’m glad I got that off my mind!
And next week, I’ll tell you about the largest sisal twine ball in the world! And I bet you enjoy that more!