LTC insurance premiums are unique to each individual. When you apply, the insurance company reviews multiple factors to determine how much you should pay. If you’re shopping for the best long-term care insurance, these factors will typically be used for pricing.

Age and Health

Your age and health has a big impact when you purchase LTC insurance. You may not qualify for LTC insurance if you have pre-existing health conditions.

Older buyers pay more for coverage. But there’s a catch—buying a policy at a younger age, such as when you’re in your 50s, means you will likely pay premiums for a longer time until you need care.

There’s also a chance you’ll get denied coverage if you try to get long-term care in your 70s. AALTCI estimates that 47.2% of LTC applicants between the ages of 70 and 74 were denied coverage in 2021.

Percentage of Long-Term Care Insurance Applicants Denied by Age

Gender

Women tend to pay higher rates for long-term care insurance because women statistically live longer than men, and therefore may need LTC coverage for a longer period.

Women also tend to experience more chronic health problems than men. Insurance companies price LTC policies higher for women to prepare for the increased likelihood of a benefit trigger during their lifetime.

Individual or Joint LTC Policy

If you’re married and apply for a joint long-term care insurance policy, the premium is usually cheaper than the cost of separate polices for two individuals. The AALTCI estimates that the average cost of a joint LTC insurance policy for a healthy 55-year-old couple is $2,080 per year for benefits of $165,000.

By comparison, the average cost for an individual male is $950 per year and $1,500 per year for females of the same age. A couple buying two individual policies can expect to spend more than $2,450 a year, so going with a joint policy can save money.

Type of Coverage

The cost of long-term care coverage also depends on the specific policy and coverage. This may include a policy’s:

  • Pre-set daily limit.
  • Maximum benefits, such as lifetime or for a limited time, such as up to two years.
  • Elimination period, which is usually between 30 and 90 days.
  • Riders you add like inflation protection, which increases long-term care benefits each year based on inflation.

Insurance Company

Insurance companies use different rating systems to calculate premiums. To find the best LTC insurance cost, it’s a good idea to get quotes from a few different long-term care insurance companies.

The AALTCI noted in its 2023 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index report that prices for the same level of coverage vary significantly. “In some cases, one insurer literally charges more than twice the cost of another for virtually identical coverage,” Jesse Slome, AALTCI director, said in a statement. “I am not sure what accounts for such a significant difference but it reinforces our belief that consumers should do comparison shopping before making a decision.”

Increases in Cost of Care

Long-term care insurance premiums aren’t always fixed, so your rate can increase in the future. These rate increases are often tied to the rising cost of long-term care expenses over time. This can make it hard to budget for the future.

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