Long-term care insurance can be axed with just one missed payment

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Missing one payment can get your long-term care insurance canceled, no matter how long you've been making payments on your premium. Get tips on how to avoid cancellation.

Glady Kabateck is both saddened and angry that her long-term care insurance was canceled. Kabateck, from Glendale, says she and her husband paid on the policy for 16 years and invested around $60,000. But then a payment was missed.

"I was shocked because we had never missed a payment before," Kabateck said.

Kabateck and her husband Jack were married on Thanksgiving Day 55 years ago. In fact, they were featured on Eyewitness News last year because the two had met applying for jobs at KABC-TV in its pioneering days.

"It was cupid to us, bringing us together," Jack Kabateck said at the time.

But six months after the report, Kabateck lost jack to heart failure, and she was emotionally spent.

During that time, their insurance company, Transamerica, sent her a bill for her husband's next year's premium. Then a month later, the company sent Kabateck another letter saying there would be no more billing. she was very confused.

"Knowing that certain things had to be paid, and then it was Thanksgiving which was our anniversary. There were birthdays, then the holidays and the mail was coming in," Kabateck said.

Brian Gilder is a certified financial planner and insurance agent. He says what happened to Kabateck is not uncommon.

"Unfortunately, it's very common. It happens many times, especially with seniors. Sometimes they have an unfortunate event happen in their life," Gilder said.

To avoid missing a premium, Gilder says to have the payments automatically paid from your bank account when they're due.

"When you fill out the application, there's a thing called a 'Third Party Designation,' so you can designate another person such as a family member or your adviser to get a notice if you're defaulting on your payment," Gilder said.

Eyewitness News tried to contact Transamerica and the Kabateck's insurance agent but so far with no response so far. But we did make contact with the California Department of Insurance, and they are now looking into the matter.

Although Kabateck is in excellent health, she would like to get her policy re-instated. In the meantime, she worries about others.

"I'm just very concerned that this possibly could happen to other people, too," she said.
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