Long Term Care Insurance Difficult To Get After Age 80

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services some 5.5 million Americans were age 85 or older in 2010 with the number expected to grow to 6.6 million in 2020.

“Americans are living long lives but few have prepared for the consequences that come with living into your 80s, 90s and even past age 100,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the industry trade group.  “When it comes to retirement planning, people get they can’t start preparing and saving for a comfortable retirement at age 60.  But, this is really the first generation to face the reality of living long lives and few have done any preparation for the consequences.”

The nation’s long term care insurance expert notes that after age 80 purchasing long term care insurance can be a daunting, almost impossible task.  “The major insurers have ceased offering coverage to those over age 80 because few people would agree to pay the premiums and even fewer could meet the health qualifications,” Slome explains.  “It is no different than trying to buy home owners insurance after your house has burned down.  You can’t get it.”

Several smaller insurers continue to offer long term care insurance policies to those over age 80.  “You can expect to pay $1,000 or more a month for coverage but considering you may be looking to get over $165,000 in benefits, that’s a considerable value,” Slome explains.  “But even those willing to pay this amount generally can not meet the health qualifications.”

“Long term care insurance is only available to those individuals who can health qualify,” Slome adds.  “This is done so to avoid having those who are in good health subsidizing rates for those who are in poorer health and are the ones most likely to begin claims sooner.”  Slome advises that the ‘sweet spot’ for looking into this protection is between ages 52 and 64.  “Do it before you qualify for Medicare and have access to preventative health screens that may uncover conditions which make it impossible for you to obtain long term care insurance or to pay higher premiums,” Slome concludes.

The organization maintains the nation’s most comprehensive website containing the latest data from Association conducted studies of buyers and claimants with long term care.  To learn more, request long term care insurance costs or to connect with one of the Association’s staff, call the organization’s offices at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association’s website.

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