Jan. 23, 2013, 10:18 a.m. EST
“Women have an opportunity to lock in lower rates but the window for significant savings is closing,” declares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, and author of A Woman’s Guide To Long-Term Care Insurance Protection.
According to AALTCI women are far more likely to need long term health care and receive two-thirds of all long term care insurance benefit dollars. “Leading insurers will soon cease offering unisex pricing and begin charging women more to reflect that most claim dollars pay for care needed by women,” Slome reports.
Insurers paid over $6.6 billion in claims last year according to the Association. “Women account for 65 percent of all new claims opened,” Slome notes. “Dementia, cancer, fractures, stroke, osteoarthritis and hip fractures or replacements are the most frequent reasons women require long term care insurance benefits.”
A final opportunity to take advantage of unisex rates provides women with a chance to lock in savings. “Both married women and women living alone can take advantage of the currently available rates,” Slome shares. “We especially encourage women who are single, divorced or widowed to consider planning now because their need is great and they often lack the built-in support of a spouse when the need for care occurs.”
Between ages 55 and 65 is the best time to explore options for long term care according to Slome. “Insurance protection is only an option for those able to health qualify and, as we age, health conditions tend to arise,” he adds. “Plus long term care insurance tends to cost between eight and 10 percent more for every year you delay.”
A woman age 55 can currently purchase $170,000 of immediate long term care insurance benefits for roughly $150-per month. “Costs are designed to remain constant but her benefit grows to over $350,000 when she reaches age 80,” Slome explains. “Someone age 65 will currently pay over $250 monthly for similar current coverage, a reason we stress the importance of starting prior to qualifying for Medicare.”
Costs from different long term care insurers can vary significantly, by as much as 40-to-90 percent. “Unlike other insurance where you can switch from year to year, this is a one-time purchase and to get the best coverage for the least price it really is important to work with a knowledgeable professional appointed to sell policies from at least four or five of the leading insurance companies,” Slome advises.
Call Designs In Life for ways to keep costs down on long-term care insurance, male and female…or both!