New member benefit

The BCMA is delighted to introduce long-term care insurance (LTCI) to members through a special alliance between MD Financial, Sun Life Financial, and the BCMA.

LTCI has been offered in the United States for over 40 years, but is relatively new to Canada. Sun Life Fin­ancial introduced LTCI in Canada in 1999.

Long-term care insurance is not just the latest industry buzzword or flavor-of-the-week. It is an important health insurance product designed to meet a growing need in this country.

In Canada, life expectancy continues to rise. The good news is we are living longer. The bad news is longev­ity does not necessarily mean good health. At every stage of our lives, we’re vulnerable to accidents and illnesses that can change the way we live. When health changes unexpectedly, it could lead to our single greatest financial risk.

According to recent studies:

• The average age of diagnosis for multiple sclerosis is 30.[1]
• Almost all spinal cord injuries (97%) occur before age 50.[2]
• The average age of major trauma patients is 43.[3]

While life insurance offers financial protection when someone dies, long-term care insurance is a “living benefit” designed to protect you while you’re alive. People need to be prepared to survive—not only physically if they get sick or need care, but also financially. 

If you needed long-term care, your income, savings, and assets could be compromised.

Long-term care insurance provides benefits if the insured person needs assistance from another person to perform two or more of six daily living activities (e.g., bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, continence, moving to or from bed or chair) or if they need continual supervision because of deteriorated mental ability. 

Not all companies’ policies are designed the same. Some policies reimburse the cost of eligible services received on a given day, up to a predetermined maximum. Others pay a predetermined benefit if eligible services were received on a given day.

A third type of policy, the income-style plan, is the most flexible. It provides an income when care is required, and the recipient doesn’t have to prove they received eligible services.

Sun Life LTCI is an income-style benefit plan that can help fund your long-term care needs. The benefit can be used for any purpose. Some use the benefit to hire home care providers so the insured person can be cared for in their own home, others compensate the family member who cares for the insured person. 

Long-term care insurance can supplement government-sponsored programs and reduce the worry of protecting your assets and your choices. It can provide the funds to pay for the care you may need, give you options, and keep a long-term illness from becoming a financial and physical burden on you and your family.

For more information about long-term care insurance and how it can complete your financial picture, contact the BCMA at 604 736-5551 or  800 665-2262 (within BC). You can also contact the MD Financial office in your region: 

Vancouver: 800 663-7460
New Westminster: 800 498-1881
Victoria: 800 716-8498

—Sandie Braid, CEBS
BCMA Insurance


1. Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada web site, 2005.
2. Canadian Paraplegic Association, 2000.
3. Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2003.

Sandie Braid, CEBS. New member benefit. BCMJ, Vol. 50, No. 6, July, August, 2008, Page(s) 333 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

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