LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 10, 2014) - The typical healthy 55-year-old male can expect to pay almost 15 percent less for long term care insurance coverage purchased in 2014 compared to last January. A 60-year-old married couple faces a seven percent increase according to a new analysis of prices.
"Compared to last year, costs for long term care insurance have risen slightly for couples, increased more significantly for single women but they have decreased for single men," reports Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). The national trade group released the findings of their 2014 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index.
The average cost for a 55-year-old male purchasing $164,000 of long term care insurance protection is $925 a year according to AALTCI. The same coverage for a single woman costs $1,225. "Women now pay more as several insurers introduced policies that take into account the increased risk of needing long term care services by women," Slome explains. "There are still some states where women pay the same as men."
A 60-year-old couple, each purchasing $164,000 of current protection that will grow to $730,000 combined when both reach age 80, will pay an average of $3,840 yearly, a three percent increase over the prior year. "Adding an inflation growth option builds your benefits over time but it can double the base cost of coverage," Slome adds. "Today there are other choices available that enable policyholders to add to their coverage in future years without such a dramatic increase in current costs."
The national long-term care insurance expert encourages a 'Good, Better, Best' approach to affordable long-term care insurance planning. "Better coverage today covers a significant share of the costs you'll face and capitalizes on some of the newer policy options offered," Slome clarifies. "Not all insurers offer options like the 'Guaranteed Purchase Option' that allows you to add to your coverage periodically, so comparison shopping makes more sense than ever."
Costs For Virtually Identical Coverage Vary By 80-To-109 Percent
According to AALTCI's 2014 Price Index, costs for virtually identical policy coverage vary significantly from one insurer to the next. "The typical difference is around 80 percent but in certain cases one insurer charged 109 percent more and both were industry leaders," Slome states. "We advise consumers that their most important decision is selecting the right professional to work with."
Slome explains that a long-term care insurance specialist will typically be appointed to compare policies from multiple insurance companies. The Association suggests three questions to determine an insurance professional's expertise. How many years have you focused on long term care planning? How many long term care insurance policies have you sold? How many long term care insurers are you appointed with?
Free access to read informational guides is available on the Association's website. To obtain long term care insurance costs connect with a professional by calling the national organization at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association's website at www.aaltci.org.
AALTCI's 2014 Summit for insurance professionals will stream selected sessions online. For free access visit Virtual Insurance Conferences and Expos at www.insuranceexpos.com.