When is it the age to buy long term care insurance?

8 answers | Last updated: Dec 02, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

At what age does it make sense to buy Long Term Health Insurance?

Expert Answers

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

The earlier you buy long-term care insurance, the lower your premiums will be.

Although insurance companies will sell long-term care insurance to someone as young as eighteen, the optimum time for buying long-term care insurance is probably around fifty-five. The premiums you would pay at that age are still quite reasonable compared to the benefits you could receive and statistically it is unlikely that you would have a need for the insurance before fifty-five.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

When is the best time to buy LTC?

Schneider & Shulman Associates recommend that you consider Long Term Care Planning in your 50’s.  You will have a good chance of qualifying for preferred health rates which are discounted as much as 15%. 

Premiums are age based.  Mathematically, the best time to buy LTC insurance is in your 40’s… but not many people do.  Most people that age are dealing with mortgages and tuition, and have not focused on retirement plans.  

We have been asked by clients and brokers if it makes sense to wait 5 years to buy.  The problem is that you will be at risk for change in health and rate increases for new applicants.  Rates do go up for new…(not existing) buyers about every 2-3 years.  A change in your health can effect your eligibility.  Also, our plans include inflation options.  If you wait 5 years you will need to consider a higher benefit.  Five years of waiting could require a 25% higher benefit.  We can show you in every case that even though you would save 5 years of payments, the net cost of the insurance would increase by 25 to 50%. 

Our basic reccomendation is to “lock-in” your premiums and your health and take care of this valuable planning as soon as and as inexpensively as possible.  Call us for a free consultation and personalized comparison.  Most of our clients are pleasantly surprised.  Visit our blog: www.ssltc.com/blog/   Call toll free: 1-877-843-9582. 

Schneider & Shulman Associates will provide information for FREE. They are experts in in Long Term Care Insurance planning. They will answer questions and custom tailor plans and comparisons for no charge or obligation. They represent all the major providers. Call toll free: 1 877-View LTC. Or visit their website: www.ssltc.com


Billf answered...

I would definitely have to agree with Steve. It will definitely be cheaper to buy Long Term Care Insurance, the younger and healthier you are. This can be a big cost savings when it comes to in-home care later.

I work on two in-home care/aging in place blogs for a national in-home care organization. We regularly post articles on paying for care and advice for aging in your home. We also answer questions. If you want more information, please visit: http://www.rightathome.net/seniorhomecare/?p=313 Good question.

Btwombly answered...

I am a Long Term Care Insurance specialist with access to most of the top companies. It mathematically makes sense when you are 50 plus or minus a couple of years. However, the thing that nobody talks about is the reason why you get it, because your health could change at any time. There are a good number of persons in their 50's or younger who may not qualify because of a current or prior health issue. For that reason I would say purchase as soon as its affordable and doesn't negatively impact your lifestyle. Even purchasing smaller amounts of coverage is advisable early on, you have something to lean on if your health changes and, the premiums are pretty low so even if you get more later on in life you wont be getting all of it at once. You will have the little bit you got early on which is cheaper, and the add-on you got later on which is a more expensive but the sum total would probably be much more reasonable than getting it all at a higher age. Hopefully this helps.

Belltoll answered...

Do not wait until age 60. No matter what the medical records show, an interview by an insurance company representative will be necessary. My wife turned 60, had no indications of Alzheimer's in her records, but still had to submit to a "question and answer" session. She could not answer the questions satisfactorily (count backwards by 7s, name 10 vegetables, name 10 fruits, etc.). She was denied insurance. She is now 63 and has mid-stage Alzheimer's. Don't wait.

Oldestsister answered...

I bought mine when I was 50 and WISH I had when I was 40 - premiums aren't THAT bad however as others here have stated, lower at 40. Plus, as is the case with my husband, even though we were going to apply at the same time, he had already had 2 open heart surgeries by the time he was 50 so it just wasn't practical. We'll deal with that when it happens for him.

Don't wait is my bottom line. If you can, do it when you are age 40. Lower premiums and healthier.

Karen lorenzo answered...

The ideal age to buy long term care (LTC) insurance is when you're between 40-50. When you buy this insurance while young, the premiums are less expensive, if you are going to compare the premiums paid by a 45 year old to a 55 year old, the difference can be thousands of dollars (see the computation here: http://goo.gl/aoXDOp). You need not wait till you're 60 before buying one, there is a chance that you might be declined when you are older than 60 due to pre-existing conditions. So consider your age, your health and finances when you plan for long term care.

Howardbrenda answered...

Experts recommend to purchase long-term care insurance when you are in your 50's. Your rate will be more affordable when you purchase early because you are younger and therefore you are healthier. Long term care insurance cost is around $1,000 to $8,000 annually according to www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance-rates and www.ltcoptions.com/long-term-care-insurance-costs. This is still manageable and you can make your premiums more affordable by purchasing early, creating a smaller policy and availing discounts. By considering any of these options, you can surely find a policy that is affordable and can satisfy your future long-term care needs.