Elder Law News

Pay Attention to the Small Details When Dealing with Long-Term Care Insurers

A long-term care insurance company recently cancelled the insurance coverage of an elderly woman who accidently wrote the wrong amount on her premium check. The case illustrates the need for policyholders to pay attention to the details.

A long-term care insurance company recently cancelled the insurance coverage of an elderly woman who accidently wrote the wrong amount on her premium check. The case illustrates the need for policyholders to pay attention to the details.

Madeleine Maldonado, of Concord, Massachusetts, had a long-term care insurance policy through AIG. According to an article in the Boston Globe, when Ms. Maldonado wrote a check to pay her $3,399.91 long-term care insurance premium, she put down the correct amount in the number box, but she accidently wrote out “three thousand three hundred and 99/100 dollars.”

Under banking and finance rules, if a check has contradictory terms, the words are considered the correct amount. Therefore, Ms. Maldonado's premium payment was $98.92 short. AIG sent the 81-year-old Maldonado a past-due invoice for the amount she owed, and when Ms. Maldonado did not respond, they cancelled her policy. Ms. Maldonado's daughter appealed to the company to accept a late payment, but the company refused. Her mother now has dementia and no long-term care coverage.

This incident illustrates the need to be extra careful when dealing with long-term care insurance companies. You need to make sure all your I's are dotted and your T's are crossed because small mistakes can lead to huge problems. It is also important not to ignore letters or notifications for payment from the insurance company.

For more information about Ms. Maldonado's coverage loss, click here.

For more information about long-term care insurance, click here.

About the author

Michele Ungvarsky

Michele graduated from law school in December of 1994. She practiced law in Albuquerque until 2009 when she relocated to the Las Cruces area. Michele has a unique understanding of issues facing families during disability and health crises because her mother and father (who was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s) moved in with her. The family struggled with the health issues related to the costs and challenges of her father’s Alzheimer’s Dementia. That is why, Michele is committed to helping families “PLAN IT FORWARD” so there are comprehensive plans in place in the case of disability or death.