There are many opinions about long-term care insurance which are mainly based on anecdotal evidence. Once a year, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance publishes a LTCI Sourcebook that cuts through the fog of opinion by helping to establish the facts.
The 2009 version of this publication just became available and here are some of the results of the data gathered from a large sampling of the leading long-term care insurers about those who have an individual long-term care insurance policy:
- Number of policyholders and amount paid in claims: 8.25 million Americans currently have long-term care insurance and last year 8.5 billion dollars were paid in claims to 180,000 policyholders.
- Age of claimants: Of the new claims opened during 2008, 61% of claimants were age eighty or older, 30% were between seventy and seventy-nine and only 9% were under the age of seventy.
- Sales by issue age: It was found that 24% of long-term care insurance buyers were between the age of forty-five and fifty-four. 53% were between fifty-five and sixty-four. 15% were between the age of sixty-five and seventy-four.
- Sales by daily benefit amount: Only 6% bought policies with a daily benefit between $50 and $99, while 31.5% were between $100 and $149, 35% were between $150 and $199, and 27% bought more than $200.
- Sales by elimination period: The overwhelming favorite elimination period chosen was ninety days, with almost 83% of buyers choosing it.
- Sales by benefit period: Benefit period choices by long-term care insurance consumers were as follows: 2 years, 7%; 3 years, 30%; 4 years, 15%; 5 years, 24%; 6"“10 years, 11%; and Lifetime/Unlimited, 13%.
- Sales by benefit increase mode: 40% chose 5% compound interest, 16% chose simple interest, 13% chose a Future Purchase Option, 7% chose CPI (consumer price index), 14% chose none, and 10% chose other forms of inflation protection benefits.
- Care settings paid for: 42% of long-term care insurance claims paid were to policyholders receiving home care, 30.5% to those in a nursing home, and 27.5% to those in an assisted living facility.
There were many other interesting facts revealed by this important gathering of data that I will try to include in future articles. The information presented here should be helpful to anyone who is seriously considering the purchase of long-term care insurance.
Until next time Duane
Duane Lipham is a Certified Long-Term Care (CLTC) consultant.