How to Buy Long Term Care Insurance

There are three options for people who are shopping for long term care quote and thinking about purchasing long term care insurance and they are: stand-alone long term care policy, fixed annuity with ltc benefits and policy with riders.

They are unique in their own way and the decision is left to the consumers, what kind of policy they think would perfectly suit their needs.

Stand-alone Long Term Care Policy

According to the nonprofit Insured Retirement Institute, there are four risks to a stand-alone LTC policy: They can be expensive, they acquire no cash value, the premiums may increase, and the underwriting can be time-consuming.

One of the biggest issues here is the long term care insurance costs. You may be able to afford paying for your premiums for a year or two but what about for the following years. It is important to think of the future and see if you can afford to finish paying for this and not simply give up on this once you’ve out of cash.

Experts say that it is ideal to have a smaller policy rather than be ambitious and opt for the expensive one but can’t finish paying for it.

Fixed Annuity with LTC Benefits

This option is actually more affordable than the traditional long term care policy and aside from that you are also entitled to other benefits. It gives you  access to your money but with nominal fee, the cost of the LTC rider may be less than an LTC policy, and you can obtain coverage without health underwriting if you’ve been turned down for a stand-alone policy. There are disadvantages too like the steep upfront investment, the rider fee can eat into your annuity’s interest income, and you’ll be locking that money up today at a relatively low rate.

LTC Insurance with Rider

LTC experts suggest that if your need for long-term care is relatively short, meaning a year or two, consider a hybrid life product. But if your need is likely to be longer, you’re going to blow through the policy and be back on your own savings. Then you’re going to regret that you didn’t buy a traditional long-term care policy.”


Genworth’s Annual Cost of Survey for In-Home Care

 According to Genworth’s (NYSE: GNW) 2012 Cost of Care Survey, the cost to receive care in the home remained unchanged from 2011 to 2012 and home care costs have also risen less dramatically over the past five years than for other types of long term care  services.

“Overwhelmingly, Americans prefer to receive long term care in the home and the relatively muted increase in home care costs over the past few years can be viewed as a positive for consumers,” said Steve Zabel, senior vice president of Long Term Care at Genworth. “Consumer demand for home care services has led to a proliferation of home care services providers and more choice for consumers. This competition has kept home care costs relatively stable, especially when compared to the cost of care in a nursing home or assisted living facility.”

Nationally, the median hourly cost for homemaker services and home health aide services is $18 and $19, respectively. While these costs remain flat from the previous year, costs for homemaker services have risen just 1.2 percent annually over the past five years, while home health aide services have risen 1.1 percent a year over the same period of time.

By comparison, the median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility is $39,600 nationally. This represents an increase of 1.2 percent since 2011 and a 5.7 percent annual increase over the past five years. The comparable cost for a private nursing home room rose 4.2 percent from 2011 to 2012 to $81,030, or 4.3 percent annualized over the past five years.

Then and Now: Increased Options Benefit Consumers

Consumers have more long term care options today than ever before as seen by the increasing number of home care agencies. According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, there were approximately 9,200 Medicare-certified home care agencies in the U.S. at the start of 2008. Today, there are slightly more than 11,000, representing an increase of 20 percent. Conversely, during this same period of time, the number of Medicare-certified nursing homes has increased less than one-half of 1.0 percent from just over 15,000 to 15,100. The number of nursing homes is increasing at a slower rate and is no longer the only option.

While consumers’ options have increased dramatically, creating a tangible plan for long term care is a critical step many overlook. According to Genworth claims data, the youngest claimant ever was 27 years old. Although that is not the norm, it underscores the necessity for a care planning roadmap. Consumers can create a long term care plan and learn more about the cost of care in their local market and nationally by visiting Genworth . The site is rich with a range of educational and planning tools such as free long term care quote to help consumers compare costs across geographies, project future costs and share comparisons and calculations with family, friends or a financial professional.

“Understanding long term care insurance costs in your local market and how these costs tend to change over time is vital to developing a plan to cover expected future costs,” Zabel said. “Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey is the most comprehensive of its kind and provides invaluable information on long term care costs that enable family members to conduct informed discussions with loved ones about future long term needs and preferences in order to be more informed consumers of long term care services.”

Now in its ninth year, Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey provides Americans with both national and local long term care cost data, as well as information on cost inflation over time. Resources include an interactive long term care map (also available as a free downloadable iPhone and iPad App) of long term care costs in 437 regions across all 50 states.

Long Term Care In The News Updates

Since there is a big demand for LTC insurance in the present situation of those who are considered baby boomers, it is but right to be updated and be informed of the most updated happenings with long term care in the news.

This is one way for them to know the latest trends and issues concerning the LTC insurance industry and to also appreciate the fact that they have an LTC insurance plan that would help them pay for the high costs of LTC services that they are receiving or might receive in the future.

Sadly, not all “baby boomers” have shopped for long term care quote and secured themselves of an insurance plan. Some of them now face the harsh reality that they might not be able to use or get all their needed LTC services and facilities just because they hesitated or doubted the value of an LTC policy. Now, they have to depend and rely on whatever facility they could get with the use of their personal savings, which may not even be enough to pay for a year’s worth of staying in an assisted living facility.

Younger individuals have now the better chances of getting lower long term care insurance costs and they too, should be updated with the latest news about LTC insurance in the country. Not only would they know and be informed of what they can expect from owning an LTC policy, but they can also weigh their reasons and other factors on why they should go and buy one.

One of the latest updates of long term care in the news is about the cancellation of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act or more commonly known as the CLASS Act. It is one of the biggest news before 2011 ended because the program was repealed 19 months after President Barack Obama signed it into law.

The Department of Health and Human Services stated that it was cancelled due to the lack of stable funds and because the conditions and guidelines for the first wave of policyholders who are supposed to receive benefits after five years are still unorganized.

This posted great concerns to those who have seen it as their last option in getting an LTC insurance policy. But the government has promised the public that they are still searching for more effective programs and laws that would benefit the LTC needs of the majority of the American population.

But there is also some favorable news for the insured individuals such as the latest tax deduction limits that are now being implemented to give more benefits and advantages to the LTC policyholders.

Insurance industry experts are happy with the newest tax deductions and they hope that this could encourage and convince those who are still uninsured to avail their own LTC plans. They are also hoping to continue having better tax limits in the future so that the insurance owners can feel how fortunate they are to have been able to purchase an LTC plan.

More particulars about long term care in the news would be available from time to time so make it a habit to check the different news sources such as newspapers, television, and the Internet for the latest information and details such as how to pay for long term care.

Younger Buyers Attracted to New Types of Long Term Care Insurance

The sale of asset-based long-term care insurance protection continued to grow significantly according to research by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance the national trade organization. According to data gathered from leading insurers, premium increased nearly 20 percent and the number of covered lives increased 13.5 percent.

“We expect the sale of asset based or linked long term care insurance products will continue to grow as they offer some highly attractive benefits to a category of buyers shopping for long term care quote early and looking to protect their retirement savings,” states Jesse Slome, AALTCI’s director. “The growth of sales will only continue as more large players enter the marketplace.” Pacific Life recently introduced a universal life insurance policy that provides long-term care benefits.

According to the Association’s annual study of new policy sales, more than half (53%) of male buyers were under age 65. In the prior year’s study, only 48 percent were under age 65. The percentage of women buyers under age 65 also increased to 50 percent, up from 44 percent in the prior year.

“We are seeing two market conditions fueling growth,” Slome explains. “Younger buys facing a long time horizon before needing care favor the money-back provision of these policies and older buyers are being priced out of the market for traditional long-term care insurance making this a more attractive option.” “At a time when long-term care is increasingly top of mind, these life insurance-based solutions avoid the ‘use it or lose it’ risk associated with traditional long term care insurance,” says Chris Coudret, CLU, ChFC, Vice President, OneAmerica one of the nation’s leading insurers offering linked benefit solutions. “In most cases, people make a single payment, effectively removing the risk of future high long term care insurance costs.”

For 2011, the Association study found that the initial single premium face amount of policies purchased was $100,000 or greater for nearly three-quarters (73%) of new policies. In addition, the vast majority (96%) of new Life+LTC policies issued did not include a benefit increase option that bumped up available benefits to keep pace with inflationary growth of costs. By comparison, the Association’s study of traditional individual long-term care insurance policy sales, found that in 2011 some 96 percent included a growth option.

The complete findings will be published in the Association’s 2012 Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook. Founded in 1998, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is the national trade organization established to educate both consumers and financial professionals about the importance of long-term care planning.