Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
 
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Expert Q&A Archive

08/31/2006
What does long-term care insurance cost for me? (Ages 40-50)
What's the average annual cost of long-term care insurance for a woman between the ages of 40 and 50, and what are the benefits of long-term care insurance?
Jeff Kyle:
expert info »
You should first get "A shopper’s guide to Long-Term Care Insurance". It’s a publication [of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, www.naic.org] that you can get either from an Insurance professional that sells Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) or from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [www.cms.hhs.gov]. It will provide you with the LTCI fundamentals. The benefits are many, but a couple of biggies would be, CHOICE! If you have the insurance, you are in the driver’s seat should you need Long-Term Care (LTC). Also, nothing will eat up your accumulated assets faster than needing LTC & not having LTCI . As far as an average cost, I’m sorry but there’s no way I can answer that simply because there are SO many variables (in benefits) that I simply don’t know. When you read "A shopper’s guide" you’ll better understand why I have to answer this question this way. The only “payback” from Long-Term care policies are not for dying, but for living. There are some types of policies that are a sort of “hybrid” combination life/LTCI policy, some may also be “Return of Premium” policies. Every state is different. It would be best to ask a local Independent agent who is appointed with several companies that provide LTCI about these different options.
Barbara Franklin:
expert info »
The cost of a long term care insurance policy depends on many factors including age, health, marital status, the choice of carrier and coverage options. A “typical” program for a woman between the ages of 40 and 50 would be in the range of $1,500 - $2,500 per year – less than half of the cost of one MONTH of care in a nursing (home based on the national average daily rate of $206 as determined in a recent survey by the Mature Market Institute).

The design of a long term care insurance plan can be customized to meet individual needs but a typical comprehensive plan provides reimbursement of expenses for care at home or in a facility (skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility). The benefit of having long term care insurance is the ability to avoid dependence on government programs and to have the ability to pay privately for the care of one's choice.
Claudia James:
expert info »
I wish I could help you more, but its been a while since I was in the securities industry. When I was there long-term health insurance was just becoming popular--at that time it was recommended for individuals in their early to mid 50s because the premiums are lower. The average stay in a nursing home today is 2 and a half years regardless of the gender. Some long-term policies have no cash value and you lose the money if you don't use it,. However, in recent years (4-5 years) some insurance companies have begun to market an insurance policy that works in three ways; it can be used as a long term care policy, or as a life insurance policy, or as a retirement supplement. Check with the big insurance companies. They are the most likely ones to offer this multi-faceted policy.
Alyssa Rakovich:
expert info »
There are many variables that go into the cost of Long Term Care insurance - I try and start with the type of benefit needed - the younger you are the more important to have a quote that shows compound interest - this is a more expensive feature and people over 65 may not see the economic benefit as much as younger applicants - usually I run illustrations for couples over 55 - couples get a discounted rate and with some carriers can share policy benefits - it is more expensive for younger people to buy long term care because of the risk on the insurance company - if a young person gets in an auto accident or becomes disabled the long term care would kick in - this makes it more expensive for a 40 year old - the benefits of long term care insurance are having a dedicated indiviual to help with finding care workers, facilities, billing, all those things that in old age we won't be able to do and probably don't want to burdeon children - also the cost of facilities and home health care is tremendous - a long term policy can help cover those costs
Jennifer Lane:
expert info »
There are a few important factors to consider when pricing premiums...current age, current health, marital status, amount of coverage. These factors can make premium vary quite a lot … The average annual cost for your age group is from $900-$2,500.

Long term care insurance coordinates, provides and pays for long term care services whether in home care, assisted living, adult day care or nursing homes. Many people consider long term care insurance:

  • So that they will not have to depend on family members to provide daily care needs.

  • To protect their assets/retirement portfolios against the high cost of long term care.

  • Want access to quality care (allows people to stay in their own homes longer receiving care and if facility care becomes needed they have a choice of Assisted Living or Nursing Home).

  • To maintain control/independence, not wanting to rely on government (Medicaid) to provide their long term care.


Anne Delle Donne:
expert info »
This will depend on whether you are purchasing a traditional or asset based long-term care policy. Depending on what riders are available (hopefully at this young age you would select a cost-of-living adjustment at a minimum) your cost should range from $400-$800 per year. This is just a ball park number and will change based on several factors. For an asset based long-term care policy you might be looking at a premium of $50,000 (one-time) to obtain appropriate coverage. These two types of policies are very different (obviously cost to begin with), so great care should be taken in evaluating and purchasing a long-term care policy. I might even argue that your money (premium dollars) may be better spent on saving for retirement v. long-term care insurance until you are in your 50s.
 

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