At least two major long term care insurance carriers (John Hancock and Genworth) have begun to change how they price their coverage for men and women. Today these carriers have generally lowered the premium for men and significantly raised the premium for women. A healthy age 55 male (assuming a new first time purchaser) may see a 15 percent decline in premium over last year. A similar woman may see an premium increase now of over 20% from two years ago. For a married couple, there will be a smaller increase.
The big premium increase will be felt by single woman applying for long term care insurance with middle aged men generally enjoying a decline in premium for the first time. The reason for this premium change is to recognize the big difference in claims submitted by men and women. Women account for two-thirds of the $6.6 billion in claims paid by insurers in 2013. Women have longer life expectancy than men.
Carriers have not obtained state insurance approval for this new premium structure in all fifty states. For example, John Hancock is still using old unisex (blended) premiums for both men and women in New York today. They have awaiting approval from the NYS Department of Financial Services for approval to offer the new male/female premiums.
The best age bracket for long term care planning is between age 50-59 or even younger if you are a business owner. Call Bob Quinlan at (845) 534-4360 or him at BobQ@QuinlanCare.com if you have any questions or would like start a discussion on long term care planning.