A 90 year old senior has just won a lawsuit against an insurance company that decided to stop paying for her nursing home bills and now the long-term care insurance company must fork over $34 million. Her victory may be reduced in appeals and due to the state damages cap on punitive damages, however her vitory is still a blow on behalf of anyone who has been denied by an insurance company for benefits who has been paying premiums for years.
According to the article in the Huffington Post, Arlene Hull and her late husband purchased a long-term care insurance policy in 1997 that was supposed to cover their medical and living expenses during their final years of their lives. They paid their long-term care insurance premiums for over a decade and then in 2008 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and moved into an assisted living facility.
In this case the insurer, was Ability Insurance, which changed names several times during the time the senior dutifully paid her premiums. Two years after entering the assisted living facility the insurance company cut off her payments. A jury decided the insurance company had breached it’s contract with the senior and awareded damages.
Many Michigan baby boomers and Michigan seniors purchase long-term care insurance as a supplement to Medicare, retiree health benfits, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, and private paying their long-term care costs. Long-term care insurance can help pay home care (health professionals providing assistance in seniors homes), assisted living costs, and nursing home costs that a health insurance may not cover.