Long Term Care Insurance Quotes
Long term care insurance sales
Millions of Americans inching closer to retirement are buying long-term care insurance policies to brace for potentially devasting health care costs, with the numbers increasing more than tenfold in the past fifteen years, according to a new report from the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA). The total number of long-term care policies sold has jumped from about 815,000 in 1987 to a staggering 8.3 million in 2001, HIAA said.
"Given the significant enhancements to long-term care insurance policy design, the stability of premium rates over the last couple of years means buyers today clearly receive a better value for their insurance dollar than before," Donald Young, MD, president of HIAA said.
There is a "veritable tidal wave" of baby boomers approaching retirement, with the government estimating that people at age 65 have a 40 percent chance on average of requiring nursing home care, the HIAA said.
HIAA, a trade association representing the private health care system, surveyed companies that sell private, long-term care insurance. According to the report, Long-Term Care Insurance in 2000-2001, more than 1.4 million people purchased long term care insurance just in the years 2000 and 2001.
The study also found:
• Roughly 70 percent of all long-term care policies sold remain in effect
• The number of employers providing long-term care coverage availability to their employers has grown to 4,700.
• The employer-sponsored market grew to a massive 1.3 million total policies in 2001.
The growing awareness that the government will not pay for long-term care is driving more people to buy policies. At the same time, Congress is considering offering long-term care as a benefit for federal employees and their dependents, and for military personnel. Legislators also are mulling legislation that would provide tax breaks to help people pay for long-term care policies.
"Price differences have averaged out"
Consumers buying the policies can be charged dramatically different premiums for different policies, however the average price overall has remained about constant for the past two years, and has actually dropped in some cases, HIAA said. A basic policy purchased in 2001 at age 65 cost $966 a year, compared to $1,002 in 1999, HIAA said.
"Long-term care insurance protects the financial security of American families today in the event that a loved one needs help handling day-to-day activities," said Young, "and it also provides a way of assisting states with the burden of rising Medicaid costs in the future."