Is Long-Term Care Insurance Worth It?

Many people are unwilling to purchase long-term care insurance (LTCI) until much later in life—in their 80s rather than in their 50s, say—but a host of recent articles have been turning up in everything from senior care trade publications to small local dailies, which touch on the subject of the LTCI industry trying to welcome the burgeoning senior baby boomer market. LTCI is an idea many do not want to entertain, and yet aging and long-term care always will be an issue.

So What Is To Be Done?

Some naysayers speculate that it’s obviously in the insurance companies’ favor to have these premium payments rolling in. But to them we would like to point out that even with that being salient, LTCI—although possibly in wolf’s clothing—is still a sheep, because the consumer will pay less if insurance is purchased when they are still young and (hopefully) healthy.

So When Should You Start Looking into Your LTCI Options?

Over time, a LTCI recipient actually pays less—not just incrementally, but as a whole—because the premium is not only based on the age at which you buy, it is typically locked in from the beginning. Here’s an example from an upcoming article by Gilbert Guide’s CEO, Jill Gilbert, in Active over 50 magazine: If a healthy 55-year-old woman purchases an LTCI policy at about $1,500 a year, by the time she is 85, she will have only paid $45,000 for thirty years of coverage. But for that same policy, a 65-year-old woman pays around $2,800 annually, which means that she pays $56,000 for twenty years of coverage—a marked increase. Waiting to buy an identical policy at 75 increases the annual cost to about $7,500; this means that the oldest policyholder in this comparison ends up paying $75,000 for only ten years of coverage—a whopping 400% increase from the 55-year-old woman!

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