Five Percent Increase in Long Term Care Insurance Benefits Paid
LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – March 20, 2015) – The nation's long term care insurance companies paid a record $7.85 billion in claim benefits to 250,000 individuals in 2014 according to a just-released report.
"Total long term care insurance benefit payments increased by five percent from $7.5 Billion paid the prior year," reports Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), the national trade group. The organization reported that insurers paid $6.6 billion to some 264,000 policyholders in 2012. "Americans are living longer and the consequence is more people needing long term care," Slome explains.
"Contrary to what most people think, the vast majority of long term care insurance pays for care in the home or in assisted living communities, not in skilled nursing homes." According to AALTCI research, half of all newly opened long term care insurance claims paid for care in the home. "Consider long term care insurance as nursing home avoidance protection," Slome adds. "People underestimate life expectancy," Slome declares.
The Finance of Longevity
"Few adults in their 50s or 60s are prepared for the financial consequences of their longevity. Longevity planning is especially important today for both married couples as well as single men and women." Sweet Spot For Long Term Care Insurance Planning Is Between Ages 55 To 65 "You really can't start your retirement savings plan at age 60 and you can't start your long-term care planning after age 70 because you won't have as many options," Slome advises.
Slome points out that insurance companies today will take a close look at your health history prior to offering you coverage. "The guarantee of insurance that we hear about with health care coverage ("Obamacare") does not pertain to long term care insurance," He said. "You want to start planning prior to age 65 before qualifying for Medicare, because the free health screens and tests covered under Medicare are great but could uncover a condition that's treatable but makes you ineligible for long term care insurance. "
To save money on these insurance policies, Slome recommends working with a knowledgeable professional able to compare multiple policies from leading insurance carriers. "This is far more important than people realize," the expert points out.
"There are significant price differences for virtually identical coverage and increasingly if you are declined by one carrier, other insurers may automatically decline your application for insurance." AALTCI's 2015 Price Index study of policies from leading insurers reveals that costs for virtually identical policy coverage varied by as much as 119 percent. "A single female age 55 could pay as little as $873 a year or as much as $1,915 and once you buy coverage you really don't switch companies like you can with other types of insurance," Slome adds.
About the AALTCI
To compare long term care insurance costs connect with a designated professional by calling the national organization at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association's Long Term Care Insurance Information Center. Jesse Slome is director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance and the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. Established in 1998, the national organizations are headquartered in Los Angeles and focus on heightened consumer awareness and supporting insurance professionals who market long-term care and Medigap products.