A recent study of 85,000 individuals who purchased long-term care insurance protection in 2014 has highlighted the increase in popularity of purchasing this type of coverage at a younger age. The 2015 LTC Sourcebook, just released by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), is providing much needed insight into who is purchasing this type of coverage, their average age, and what type of options they are adding to their policy. According to AALTCI Director Jesse Slome, the study revealed that today’s buyers are younger. In fact, the 2015 LTC Sourcebook shows that 40 percent of buyers of Long-Term Care Insurance are age 54 or younger, showing a dramatic increase of younger purchasers as compared to just 29 percent of buyers in that age group in 2012.
You may be curious why this shift is taking place in the younger population. For starters, Long-Term Care Insurance is not being viewed in the same light as it once was. While in the past it was brushed off by many as something only the “elderly” need, today’s younger generations are educating themselves on the multitude of benefits this type of insurance coverage can offer. It is no secret that the likelihood of disability or chronic illness increases with age. Long-Term Care Insurance can help people afford the care and services they need when they grow old, such as paying nursing home costs, home health care, personal care, and help with chores and housework. In addition, purchasing this type of coverage at a younger age can also mean less expensive premiums. The 2015 LTC Sourcebook shared that many younger buyers are purchasing plans with lower amounts of coverage but adding attractive options allows your total maximum benefit to grow over time. This combination of less expensive premiums when purchasing at a younger age, along with the choice to add-on a variety of helpful options, have fueled the growth behind younger men and women purchasing these plans.
The study also revealed that more Long-Term Care Insurance plans are being purchased as more people become educated on the affordability and benefits of the product. While many are under the impression that a solid insurance plan costs many thousands of dollars per year, this simply is not the case…even for those who are in an older age bracket. In fact, the study highlighted approximate coverage costs for a healthy couple, both age 60. This couple would have about $165,000 worth of benefits available individually for a combined annual cost of just over $2,000. This same benefit amount would cost a 65-year-old couple approximately $3,600 per year. A benefit amount of $165,000 would pay for quite a bit of at-home care. Popular at-home care services paid for with a Long-Term Care Insurance plan include help around the house, shopping, transportation and personal care such as bathing and dressing. In addition, the policy benefit can help offset nursing home facility costs if needed.
Now that you are more familiar with average policy costs, you may be curious about the average cost of long-term care. According to a 2014 Harvard Study entitled, “Housing America’s Older Adults,” the average monthly cost for a nursing home runs around $6,500 for a semi-private room and $7,300 for a private room. In addition, it highlighted that two-thirds of single older persons, and almost one-third of older couples would be impoverished after spending just 13 weeks in a nursing home. In terms of cost for home health care, care provided by a licensed professional can range from $5,000 to more than $10,000 per month. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, typically only cover a fraction of these costs, if any.
At TMA Insurance Trust, a skilled advisor can share more information related to costs, coverage plans and the application process for a Long-Term Care Insurance plan. An important tip to remember with this type of coverage is to not wait until you need long-term care to attempt to purchase a Long-Term Care Insurance plan. The younger you are at the time of purchase, the less expensive your premiums will be and the more likely you are to be in good enough health to qualify for coverage. In addition, keep in mind the cut-off age to apply is 75 years old.
While growing old and potentially needing help are not easy subjects to think about, planning for this time of your life early on can make all the difference. Have access to quality home health care, nursing services, personal care services, nursing homes and more with a Long-Term Care Insurance plan from TMA Insurance Trust. Our experienced advisory team looks forward to helping you find the ideal coverage for your family’s needs.