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Letters: CalPERS' long-term care rates on the rise

February 24, 2013

Re “CalPERS' long-term care rates to surge,” Business, Feb. 22

I retired as a college teacher in 2009 and had bought my long-term care policy in the late '90s.

I was influenced to get it by two factors: I had watched financial advisor Suze Orman on PBS support long-term care policies as a part of retirement planning, and I had watched my father forced to spend down his modest estate to virtually nothing in order to qualify my dementia-suffering mother to receive nursing home care under Medi-Cal.

I began to get periodic notices that I would have to choose between retaining the same premium and losing benefits or increasing my premium to continue the policy as written. The first time I opted to pay more; the second time I opted to reduce benefits. About the time I retired, I got yet another notice offering the same choice. It was a tough decision, but I decided to cut my losses and drop the policy.

I felt betrayed by CalPERS; it seemed like a Ponzi scheme in which the insurance company actuaries had factored in my actions to make the plan work — drive out early subscribers with benefit cuts and premium increases to get its money and not have to pay out.

I have also stopped paying any attention to Suze Orman.

Robert Huber
Yorba Linda

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