Long Term Care Insurance Industry Paid $7.5 Billion in Claim Benefits

Americans received some $7.5 billion in long term care insurance benefit payments in 2013 according to the Association for Long Term Care Insurance

February 4, 2014 – Long term care insurance companies paid nearly $7.5 billion in claim benefits to 273,000 individuals in 2013 according to a just-released report.

“Total benefit payments increased by 13 percent and the number of long term care insurance policyholders on claim grew 3.4 percent,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), the national trade group.   Insurers paid $6.6 billion to some 264,000 policyholders in 2012.

“People are living longer and the consequence is needing costly long term care,” Slome notes.  “Long term care insurance pays for needed care services and the protection can be far more affordable than many people think.”   Over two thirds of all newly-opened long term care insurance claims paid for care in the home or in an assisted living community setting according to AALTCI.

“Today a 65-year-old man can expect to live to age 82,” Slome reports.  “If he makes it to 85, he can expect to see 90.”   Experts note that women have a greater life expectancy after age 65.  “Longevity planning is especially important today for both married couples and single men and women,” Slome adds.

“Long term care insurance provides choice and control, while protecting your retirement plans and lifestyle.  It allows loved ones to care about you rather than being forced to care for you,” says George Mellendorf, president of LTC Solutions, a leading national distributor for LTC insurers.  “You can’t put a price on that kind of value.”

Long Term Care Insurance Planning Should Start Prior To Age 65

“People mistakenly believe everyone can qualify for long-term care insurance,” Slome states.  “You must meet health requirements and it’s best to start in your 50s and certainly before you reach age 65.  Obamacare does not include long term care insurance provisions.”

Slome advocates the ‘Good, Better, Best’ approach to long-term care insurance planning.  “For a couple both age 60, a good plan of coverage provides each spouse with $164,000 of potential benefits and costs about $165-per-month,” Slome explains.  Better coverage takes advantage of the Guaranteed Purchase Option offered by some insurers.  “The best coverage includes an inflation option but this can easily double costs,” he notes.

AALTCI’s 2014 Price Index study revealed that costs for virtually identical policy coverage vary significantly from one insurer to the next.    “The typical low-high spread is around 80 percent but in certain cases one insurer charged 109 percent more,” Slome states.  “We advise consumers that their most important decision is selecting the right professional to work with.”

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 website at www.aaltci.org.


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