What exactly is Long Term Care Insurance? And why is it so important? According to a recent survey by the American Association for Long-term Care Insurance, the following are the top motivators that prompted current long-term care insurance policyholders to purchase their policies:
52.1% – planning for retirement
34.7% – protecting their assets
23.6% – influenced by an experience with a loved one who needed LTC
8.1% – security or peace of mind knowing future needs would be met
The significance of long-term care (LTC) is on the rise, especially considering the aging demographic that is now enjoying longer life spans than ever before. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a stark statistic: a substantial 69% of individuals will require long-term care services at some point in their lives. However, this essential care comes at a considerable cost, ranging from $19,500 per year for adult day care to a substantial $102,200 per year for a private room in a nursing home in the United States.
Why is long-term care particularly pertinent to women? The answer to this question can be summed up in two words: longevity and caregiving. Women have a natural advantage when it comes to longevity, outliving their male counterparts with an average life expectancy of 82 years for women compared to 77 years for men, as reported by a 2015 study by the CIA. For instance, Gertrude Weaver, a remarkable American, celebrated her 116th birthday on July 4th, earning the title of the oldest living American. The gift of a long life is certainly precious, but as the years advance, health and mobility can often fail to keep pace.
When evaluating the cost and importance of LTC for women, a multitude of key factors come into play. Beyond having an extended lifespan, we also assume a pivotal role as caregivers. As women we tend to the needs of their loved ones, often stepping into the role of primary caregivers for husbands and family members requiring long-term care. Regrettably, in many instances, when we ourselves require care, ew find ourselves without a support system, especially if we are widowed.
The following statistics underscore the significance of LTC for women and the complex dynamics that contribute to this issue:
- Women’s longer life expectancy places them at a higher risk of needing long-term care. 
- Women often assume the caregiving role for their spouses or family members, which can be physically and emotionally taxing. 
- When women outlive their partners, they may lack a caregiver, intensifying the need for accessible and affordable LTC options.
These aspects collectively emphasize the critical importance of addressing long-term care as a pressing issue for women in our society.
Given this situation, insurers set their premiums accordingly, resulting in a 30-50% increase in price for single women than for single men . The American Association for Long Term Care estimated that the annual premium for a single male in 2020 was $1,700, while being $2,675 for a single female. It’s essential to recognize that the long-term care insurance averages presented earlier are based on data from leading insurance carriers and represent a general overview of the landscape. However, these costs can vary significantly, influenced by several critical factors:
- Health: Your current health status plays a pivotal role in determining the cost of your long-term care insurance. Some pre-existing medical conditions, such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, or dementia, may lead to disqualification for a policy, as insurers could potentially face substantial losses. In essence, the healthier you are at the time of policy acquisition, the less likely you are to require a claim, resulting in lower premium costs.
- Age: Age is a substantial influencer in long-term care insurance pricing. Generally, the older you are when you purchase a policy, the more you can expect to pay. This is due to the assumption that older individuals are likely less healthy and closer to the point of needing the covered assistance. That’s why experts, including the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), suggest that individuals commence their search for long-term care insurance between the ages of 52 and 64.
- Marital Status: For couples, joint coverage typically results in lower premiums compared to the cost of two separate policies. This collaborative approach provides cost-efficiency and offers the flexibility to pool benefits, allowing partners to use them in any combination as needed. Furthermore, it brings peace of mind as couples venture into the later stages of life together.
- Carrier Policies: It’s crucial to note that each insurance carrier establishes its own pricing structure and underwriting standards. Consequently, the cost of the same benefits can vary significantly from one insurance company to another. Therefore, it’s valuable to obtain quotes from multiple carriers to compare and contrast their offerings. In this endeavor, seeking assistance from a seasoned long-term care insurance agent or wealth management professional can be particularly beneficial, as they can gather quotes for you and help you comprehend the distinctions between policies.
Given the multifaceted considerations involved in long-term care insurance, it’s natural to wonder how to navigate this complex landscape. Here are some vital steps to get started:
First: Start your exploration of long-term care insurance earlier than you might initially think. The younger you are when you purchase a policy, the more cost-effective it tends to be.
Two: Collaborate with a specialist who can help you identify the most suitable insurance option for your unique needs. Remember that the cost for the same benefits can vary significantly from one carrier to another. Additionally, you should explore potential discounts, such as those associated with memberships or bundling policies from the same carrier. Over time, these savings can accumulate significantly.
Three: If you are married or in a partnership, consider applying for long-term care insurance together. This typically leads to lower premiums, enables you to pool your benefits for flexible usage, and offers a sense of security as you plan for your later years in tandem.
Four: For women living independently, whether single, divorced, separated, or widowed, securing long-term care insurance is particularly crucial. Women are known for their intelligence, determination, and resilience, making it even more important to channel these qualities into action by safeguarding their financial future. Moreover, if you’re married to a husband who believes he won’t need long-term care insurance, explore shared care plans that can provide coverage for both of you. Preparing for unforeseen circumstances is a prudent decision that both partners will appreciate in the long run.
If you or a woman you know would benefit from learning more about Long Term Care coverage, please join us on November 7th, 2023 for our virtual educational event that will allow you to have an open dialogue conversation with a Long Term Care Specialist in the form of a round-table panel with Erin Eiras, CPFA and Alecia Barnette, LTC Specialist at Financial Independence Group.
During the session, you will:
- Gain insight into the importance of long-term care planning in preserving your wealth.
- Learn about the various options available for long-term care.
- Understand the potential impact on your financial well-being and generational wealth.
To ensure an interactive and personalized experience, we have limited spaces available– register now using the link on our website: Register Here.
Date: November 7th
Time: 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM (Choose the time that suits you best)
Format: Virtual and interactive
This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, not is it intended as any financial or tax advice. For information abut specific insurance needs or situations, contact your insurance agent. In addition, state insurance laws and insurance underwriting rules may affect available coverage and its costs. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Securities are offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through InVestra, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial. LPL Financial and InVestra Financial Services do not offer tax or legal services.