Category Archives: Long Term Care Insurance Costs

Long Term Care Insurance – How Much is Enough?

One of the most critical decisions in buying Long Term Care Insurance is how much coverage to purchase.  The short answer is, it all depends on the problem or concern you are trying to solve.   Some people are very risk adverse because they have seen a long term Alzheimer’s illness or stroke affect a loved one and the astounding impact it can have, while others want enough coverage for the most common issues.

Current claims data shows the average claim will last about 3 years for women and 2.5 years for men.  For those with Alzheimer’s or a severe stroke, claims can look much different.  For example, according to HealthLine.com the life expectancy after diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is 8-10 years with some living for 20 years!  When you consider the amount of care needed for this disease, the costs can very quickly get out of hand.

When thinking about how much coverage to buy, it is important to choose a plan and a price you can afford not just today, but when you are in your 80s.  A long term care policy is only good if it is inforce at the time of claim, so having a policy for years, only to drop it because it is too expensive, is a waste of money and will leave you unprotected.  You should also consider if you could afford to keep the policy if rates go up by 20-30% at some point.

We see two general plan designs from consumers.  Short and rich or long and stable.  Short and rich plan designs tend to be 1-3 years in benefit period and $4,500 and up per month in benefits.  These consumers are playing the odds that a long term claim won’t happen and if it does the benefit buys them time to financially prepare.  Long and stable plans tend to be 5 or more years in benefit period and $5,000 and up per month in benefits. Policies almost always include shared care when a couple is applying which gives greater benefit options.  These consumers most often have seen the cost of a long term health issue with someone close to them and want to be prepared.

No one has returned a benefit check to an insurance carrier because it was too small, because some insurance is better than none at time of claim.  The most important aspect of determining how much is enough is having a clear idea of the problem you are solving for and carefully considering what price is reasonable for you.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.

Long Term Care Insurance Quote Tool and How it Works

Updated 6/8/18

Most people begin their research on any subject by going online and looking for information. Unfortunately, there are not many independent, unbiased resources on Long Term Care planning, which is why we created www.LTCconsumer.com It is our goal to create a place where anyone can get educated on this important matter.  One of the most common questions consumers want to know is, “How much does long term care insurance cost?”

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5 Ways to Save Money on Long Term Care Insurance

No one likes paying more for something than they have to and that is especially true when buying insurance.  Follow these key tips to help you get the best deal and save money on long term care insurance.

  1. Work with a Specialist in Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) who represents multiple carriers.  A true specialist will work with 10-20 clients a month on just long term care planning.  They can do the shopping for you to make sure you get the best policy for the lowest cost.
  2. If you are a couple, buy a policy with Shared Care.  Shared Care allows a couple to combine their benefits for both or one to use.  For example, if each person has a $150,000 benefit, which means as a couple they have access to $300,000 of benefits.  If only one spouse needs care, that means they have access to the full amount.
  3. Buy a policy with higher monthly benefits but a shorter duration.  Many people look at policies that last 4-6 years.  While these policies are great, they can be expensive.  Currently the average claim length is 2.8 years.  Buying a policy with higher monthly benefit but just for 1-2 years allows you to save money now.  This gives you time to financially prepare in the case that your claim does last longer than your coverage.
  4. Look for employer or association discounts.  A number of employers offer voluntary LTCI and it is a great way to get a lower rate, especially for women.  Employer plans are unisex pricing, while individual plans are gender-based.  Buying through the employer for women could save them 20-30%, or even more than what they could buy on their own.
  5. Buy with your spouse\partner.  Often time’s one partner is more motivated to buy LTCI than the other.  Insurance carriers give a 20-30% discount when both people purchase together.  If your partner wants a richer benefit, then you could buy a smaller benefit on the other partner to maximize savings.  In some cases, the additional policy will be largely paid for just in the discount given for spouses.

The best advice is to do your homework and speak with a specialist who can help you.  Our team of specialists are some of the best planners in the United States and helped thousands of people last year with their long term care planning.  Whether you work with us or not, make sure you use these tips to maximize your benefit and lower your cost.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.

Why Long Term Care Insurance Costs More for Women

Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

-Mark Twain

Most people know that women live longer than men on average.   According to a CIA 2014 study, women in the US have a life expectancy of 82 and men 77.  According to Time Magazine, Gertrude Weaver from Arkansas just celebrated her 116th birthday on July 4th as the oldest living American!  Living a long life has its advantages; but often times as we age, unfortunately, our health and mobility aren’t able to keep up. Continue reading