180,000 Americans Receive LTC Insurance Benefits

Some 180,000 Americans with long-term care insurance policies were paid benefits in 2007, according to a just-conducted study released by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (www.AALTCI.org). This is the first time the total number of individuals on claim was gathered.

“The long-term care insurance industry paid out $3.5 billion in benefits to individuals last year,” said Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The AALTCI compiled data from over 60 long-term care insurers who represent 98 percent of all policies currently in force.

“The risk of needing long-term care is higher than the risk of a serious car accident or house fire, but few people are aware of how many individuals and families already benefit from having purchased long-term care insurance,” Slome notes. “Some 400,000 new policies were issued last year alone. As more individuals become aware of, and understand the importance of, planning for long-term care needs, the number of individuals and families deriving benefit from this coverage will only increase.”

The Association’s study of claims paid to individuals revealed meaningful information for those considering a long-term care plan. According to the study, 43.0 percent of claims paid in 2007 were attributed to home care. Nearly one-third (32.9%) of claims were for assisted living and 24.1 percent covered nursing home care.

“Most people associate long-term care insurance with nursing home care, but quite the opposite is true,” explains Slome. “The vast majority of benefits paid today cover care at home or in an assisted living community.” Over 97 percent of long-term care insurance policies sold provide some form of home care benefit (86% did in 2000 and 67% in 1995).

The Association study found that most individuals receiving benefits from their long-term care insurance policies are older. Nearly a third (32.3%) of new claims in 2007 began for individuals between 70 and 79, according to the Association findings. Over half (55.2%) began for those age 80 or over but 11.5 percent were for those between 50 and 69. The youngest individual on claim (a group insured) was 23.

Reporters and other media who would like additional information or to arrange an interview with Jesse Slome, please call the Association offices at (818) 597-3227

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