Now may be the time to purchase long-term care (LTC) insurance. Very soon, the LTC insurance industry will change from unisex pricing based only on age, to a gender-specific model, as they do with life insurance. The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that this change could be as early as the second quarter of this year.
Insurance companies say this change will better price the risk to the insurer, but this change could also mean prices of LTC insurance policies may rise as much as 40 percent for women! Why the female rate increase? Simply put, women live longer than men on average and will use more LTC insurance as their health deteriorates.
According to Kiplinger, despite the potential rate hikes, insurance is still the most cost-effective way to protect yourself from the potentially devastating expense of LTC. Overland Park based investment adviser, Elizabeth McLeod, tells clients they should factor about $230,000 into their financial plan for potential LTC costs, if they don’t have an insurance policy.
Many states are offering to help those who try to help themselves when it comes to LTC. Some states offer Partnerships for Long-Term Care programs, that allow people who exhaust all of their LTC insurance benefits to qualify for Medicaid policies, without depleting all their assets.
Kansas City based, Senior LTC Insurance Specialist, Steve Johnson is advising women to get a plan now. Because women make up about two-thirds of all LTC insurance claims, their pricing is about to increase a lot. “Those who act now will be rewarded with better rates,” he says. “Certain health and cognitive issues can prevent people from qualifying at all for LTC insurance, so even without the new rate increase, it has always been a good idea to secure coverage while you’re healthy.”
The fact we’re living longer on average means we’re going to have to plan financially for our potential health care needs. What plans do you have in place for your long-term healthcare needs?