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.
Adding to this the fact that women tend to outlive their spouse\partners, women are still more likely to be the caregiver for their ailing partner. When alone, who is left to care for these women?
These are some of the reasons that the cost for Long Term Care Insurance for women is more than it is for men. There are also more factors such as:
- Women are more likely to file LTCI claims than men – about 67% of all claims are currently for women
- Women comprise about 70% of nursing home residents, and 75% of those in assisted living facilities
- Women are more likely to live alone and not have a family member to serve as a caregiver. In fact, about 80% of women die single or widowed, while about 80% of men die married.
Given these facts, insurers set their premiums accordingly. Long term care insurance can be as much as 30-50% more for single women than for single men.
So what’s a woman to do?
One: Start looking into long term insurance earlier than you think. The younger you are when you buy LTCI, the less expensive it is. The cost doesn’t go up simply because of an age change. We encourage women to consider LTC insurance after age 50 and you will want to buy it before the age of 60.
Two: Work with a specialist in Long Term Care Insurance. The cost for the same benefits can vary significantly from one carrier versus another. There are additional discounts for association memberships or owning a different policy from the same carrier. Since this coverage will be with you for a long time the savings can really add up.
Three: If you are married or in a partnership, consider applying together. You will qualify for lower premiums than had you applied separately, you can pool your benefits and use them in any combination you need, and you have the peace of mind heading into the later phase of your lives together.
Women are smart, serious and strong. Take control, and decide how you want to prepare for an uncertain future.
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.