Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Long Term Care Update: How to Handle Long Term Care Insurance Rate Hike for Women

The biggest long term care insurance providers in the country announced that beginning the second quarter of 2013, they will impose LTC insurance rate increase for policies sold to women. The hike, according to them, is necessary in order to properly reflect the risks involved in covering women’s LTC needs.

At present, women comprise 70% of nursing home patients and 75.7% of assisted living facilities residents. Furthermore, 65% of all new LTC insurance claims were filed by women. These statistics affirm that insuring women entails greater risks than insuring men. But should women be discouraged from buying a policy because of this looming premium hike?

Long term care advocates strongly say no. Since women are likely to need long term care more than men, they should all the more have LTC insurance.

What can women do to keep premiums within their budget?

1.     Start now. There is no better time to buy LTC insurance than today when the rate increase is not yet fully implemented. Remember that of all the states in America, only the states of Montana and Colorado require unisex pricing so chances are, everyone in the country except for the residents of two states will be affected.

2.     Get long term care insurance quotes. Quotes make you see the prevailing prices of benefits at a glance. It will allow you to see which among the insurance companies offer the best policy at the lowest cost.

3.     Take advantage of spousal discounts. You can get as much as 20% discount if you buy as a couple. According to LIMRA as cited by reuters.com, the average premium for policies sold to couples in 2011 is $2,131 while single buyers’ plans averaged $2,720.

4.     Buy according to financial means. The benefit amount, benefit period, inflation protection and elimination period of a policy can be adjusted depending on a person’s preference and budget. Choose your benefits well. According to the report made by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, a policy with 3-5 years benefit period is already a good option because the average length of LTC insurance claims is just 2.8 years.

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