Single, Divorced and Widowed Women Need Special Approach to LTCi
LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 30, 2015) – Women in their 50s and 60s who are single today or concerned about being alone in the future will greatly benefit from affordable long term care planning according to an industry advocate.
"There are millions of women over age 50 who are single, divorced or widowed and most married women will outlive their male spouses making long term care planning essential," shares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). "Planning for women who are alone today or may be tomorrow should be different than planning undertaken by couples. Unfortunately that's often not the case."
Addressing both affordability and future need is essential, Slome notes. "Women are far more likely to need long-term care services," the expert shares. Some 70 percent of nursing home residents are women and over two-thirds of new long-term care insurance claims are paid to women, mostly for care received at home.
While extended or long-term care costs have a particularly heavy impact on women, cost is the reason many single women don't consider insurance protection. "Single women often have lower incomes, less retirement savings and the prospect of lower Social Security and pension benefits than men so affordability is a primary and very valid concern," Slome explains.
Making Long-Term Care Insurance More Affordable For Single Women
Women who are alone will benefit from a different approach to long-term care insurance planning and affordability is the key, shares the AALTCI director. "We advocate for the 'Good, Better, Best' approach to affordable planning for single women," Slome states.
"Approaches that work for married couples where there may be two wage earners and two future Social Security payments are rarely appropriate for a woman on her own." Many insurance agents merely recommend 50-percent of the plan they recommend to a married couple, the expert points out.
"A married couple, both age 60 will pay $3,200-per-year for $400,000 of combined benefits," Slome says. "A single woman, also age 60, will pay $2,950 for $200,000 because single women pay more and don't get discounts offered to couples. For many single women that's simply not within their available budget."
Take, for example, a single woman age 60 obtaining $100,000 of coverage. "The cost is $1,550 a year and for many women this will pay for a significant amount of future home care services or even skilled facility care," he points out. "I call this 'Good' coverage because it's affordable and will certainly provide a substantial benefit if care is needed." Better coverage according to Slome involves selecting a policy that allows one to increase benefits at a future date even if health changes.
"Things change today and the ability for a single woman to review her long-term care insurance policy every few years and make changes is a smart move now offered by a few insurance carriers," he adds. "It's a smart way to plan for women who might be married today to someone older or with some health issues." Single women today are advised to compare insurance rates.
"Each insurance company sets their own premium costs and there can be sizable differences especially for women buying coverage on their own," Slome explains. Under the 'Good' scenario, the lowest premium for a couple was $2,500 while the highest was $4,065, a 48-percent difference in yearly cost.
The Association makes available six educational guides that can be read online including a number of educational videos. The latest video Long Term Care Insurance Planning For Single Women can be accessed online at www.aaltci.org/guides. To obtain no-obligation long term care insurance costs or information connect with an Association-designated specialist by calling the national organization at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association's website at www.aaltci.org.