October 23rd, 2011

The weekend's activities include: 2x horse, groceries

On Saturday, R. took T. to a camp reunion. Not very many people showed up, but there were a few and R. and T. walked through some woods (and ex-woods) for a bit. They came back with ticks. R. got some of them last night but this morning, T. was crying about his ear and when I looked, there was one right there. At least it wasn't engorged yet. And T. had one last week, too, that _was_ engorged. But they don't do prophylactic abx with kids this little; we're just supposed to watch for unexplained fever and other things for a monthish.

A. and I hung out at home and went for a walk and then a short bike ride, then hung out with a couple of our neighbors. I got a call from the place where T. does therapeutic riding and which we've been trying to get A. into since hippotherapy ended with E.I. They have a slot for her! So today, both kids went (at different times) to go groom and ride the horses. While T. was gone, A. and I went to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping (it's _almost_ starting to be routine -- I'm so committed to it I'm writing the grocery list out organized by section of the store. I'm not sure I've _ever_ been this organized). But before that, I started a loaf of bread, which I finished after we came back from the store. I've been meaning to get back in the habit of baking bread for a while, largely because I can make it without any sodium beyond what is naturally occurring in the ingredients and it just isn't possible to buy anything similar (the low/no sodium ezekiel bread is just Not the Same). It turned out okay -- I let it rise a little too long so it's got more of a beer-y taste than ideal, but if I can do this a few times I'll get the hang of the timing again.

long term care insurance

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/old-gray-and-here-to-stay/2011/10/21/gIQATcXB4L_blog.html

I'm more than a little horrified by this proposal.

A guy at Brookings proposes cobbling together a way to cover long term care needs and it includes:

"Effective at age forty, every adult would be required to purchase a long-term care insurance policy with certain specified features: a five-year term, a benefit of at least $150 per day, automatic inflation adjustment and a low deductible."

Let's do some math on what the hypothetical maximum benefit on a minimum policy meeting this criteria would be:

5 years * 150 $/day * 365 = $273750.

Why should _anyone_ who can demonstrate a net worth substantially in excess of this be required to purchase such a policy? I'd be _overjoyed_ to pay for the policies for a dozen poor people (2 dozen, even, maybe) before being required to buy one for myself, my husband, etc.

But running all this through insurance companies does not strike me as bright anyway. Insurance companies have in no way demonstrated that they can price these things correctly (the opposite, actually). By the time a law was passed requiring purchase, we'd be looking at steep premium increases or having to bail them out.

I'm still trying to figure out what the probability to payout might be. I recognize that if you're fortunate enough to make it to 80, the odds get pretty good you'll need long term care, but of course a lot of people don't make it to 80 and I don't know the odds of an arbitrary baby born in an arbitrary year needing long term care after age 40. In fact, I think that's really the nut of the problem.

The concluding paragraph is extremely silly. "But with the population getting older and more reliant on long-term care, we’re likely going to have to do something." We never fix _anything_ until it's been well and truly intolerable for at least one full political cycle (4 years), usually several.

ETA People toss around premium numbers for this stuff. It is _no joke_. The annual premium for LTCI for someone in their 40s is liable to run small number of thousands. Annual premium for someone in their 60s might run more than a few thousand. If you think people should be paying for their own long term care, it makes more sense to mandate savings/retirement funding (if you took that premium and stuck it in something that made even 5% a year and were rigidly consistent about it, you'd have most of the benefit you might collect by the time you would actually need it). LTCI is essentially whole life under another name.