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They've been paying on the long term care insurance for well over 10 years. Hopefully there is a way to get their insurance reinstated through the court system. Thank you.

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To follow up on that previous post, according to the article I linked to, apparently policies issued before HIPAA in 1996 only had to offer a 30-day grace period ... after HIPAA, they're required to offer a 5-month "grace period" in which the policy can be reinstated if the policy lapsed because of the policyholder's failure to pay due to a cognitive impairment or because he or she needed help with "activities of daily living." Some insurers allow up to 7 months, and whether they start counting from the day the policy lapsed or the day when the premium was first due is the question, and varies by company.
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I am SO sorry to hear this happened, Garcia10 ... first, gladimhere is right; it is worth checking into whether there was anyone listed on the policy as being an alternate person that the insurance company should notify in the event premiums were not being paid. I know that my parent's (small) LTC policy DOES have such a notification clause within it, and that I was listed as that person.

Second, for any others who are reading this ... yes, Jeanne is right; it is a VERY good idea to have all insurance premiums, ESPECIALLY this one, automatically paid from your checking account. My parents had this premium set up to be paid from their checking account automatically for many years. About a year and a half ago, as my Dad's dementia symptoms grew worse, I had those automatic payments transferred to my own checking account instead (and just asked him to write checks to reimburse me), because I was concerned about the potential danger of him accidentally overdrawing his checking account or being taken advantage of financially in some way that would cause this particular insurance premium to go unpaid even though it wasn't a check he had to remember to write. I'm actually amazed to hear the company in question here would let the policy go unpaid for six months before canceling ... I'd assumed any insurance company in this position would cancel within a month or two, tops, and be looking for any excuse to do so. :-(

It's definitely worth talking to a lawyer to see if anything can be done ... but yes, try to resolve with the company first. Do you have a copy of your parents' policy? Have you looked through it to see if they named an alternate contact (and provided contact info) for the company to reach out to if premiums were not being paid? It's possible that the law requires the company to ask insureds for such information, and to honor the notification request if it is provided, but not to do so if it is not ... For that matter, if they bought the policy through an agent, the agent should have been notified. Do you know if there was an agent, and if so, who that person (or agency) was?

I just searched the Web and found this article:


It is somewhat encouraging in that it specifically refers to one woman managing to get her mother's policy reinstated after persistently trying for a year (the mother had apparently canceled the policy sometime after developing Alzheimer's) ...

This may well be a case in which being persistent -- polite, but persistent ... and willing to involve a lawyer ... and absolutely, past-due premiums would have to be paid ... might, might, might get you where you need to be ... my fingers are very much crossed for you and your parents. Good luck!
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Wow. This is really sad all the way around. Dementia really does first start showing as neglecting mail and acting irresponsibly in ways not at all common before. And these can be very hard for someone not living with them to detect. So what your in-laws did is not surprising. And that you didn't catch it is not surprising. None of you are bad people.

That the insurance company needs to get its premiums every period is not surprising. A six-month grace period with lots of over-due notices, is behaving responsibly. They are not a bad company.

So there are no bad guys in this scenario (except dementia) but there sure is a bad outcome!

I think if it were me I'd make one more attempt to contact the insurance company, in writing. Explain, briefly, why your in-laws did not pay the premiums, and why you did not know they were not meeting their various financial obligations. Now that you are aware of the situation you are trying to set matters right. Offer to pay the 9 months missing premiums and beg them to reconsider reinstating the policy. It was purchased for precisely this need; appeal to their sense of community service.

If that does not get favorable results, I'd go with Jinx's suggestion of visiting a lawyer.

I am certainly glad that my long-term insurance and all other insurance premiums are paid automatically from my account. I set it up that way for my convenience, but now I can see it as a safety measure, too!
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At the very least, demand return of the premiums paid. Get a lawyer's advice, and write to the newspaper or TV consumer help reporter, and write to the Insurance Commissioner of your state.
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We've spoken with the insurance company. The last payment they made was Feb. 2013. Past due notices went to their home along with a cancellation notice after 6 months of non-payment. They simply gave up opening their mail unaware to the rest of the family. The ins. company naturally claims that they did what was required of them to be legal.The rapid onset of dementia is playing a huge part here. Thank you for responding.
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How long ago did the policy lapse? Two months? Two years? Have you been in touch with the insurance company?
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Sounds like another insurance scam to me. So many people now have premiums drafted from their bank account.
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and currently first shows as bad decisions and forgetfulness of paying bills.
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I hate this. My mom also had a long term care policy that she probably paid into for 20 years. Who was listed on the policy with them, that person should have been notified when premiums were not paid. I think this happens frequently and may be one of the first signs of dementia. Mom took out the policy when she was of sound mind because of the cost of the nursing home my grandma was in. A very responsible decision since mom did not want her life savings paying for health care, she wanted something left of an inheritance.

How many of these policies lapse each year only to find out later that the insured has developed dementia?
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