The nation’s leading consumer advocacy group for Long Term Care (LTC) planning announced the top 10 states of sales of individual LTC insurance in 2016. The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) published the list in an announcement made this week.
The demand for Long Term Care Planning has increased dramatically in recent years as many parents of Generation X and Late Boomers started facing eldercare issues. While many people require Long Term Care before they are 65, this is a major aging issue and the consequences of a care event can be devastating on one’s savings and income while creating a burden on the person’s family.
"We will end the year with some seven million Americans who have traditional Long Term Care Insurance protection and another million who have a linked-benefit product that provides some LTC protection," explained Jesse Slome, executive director of the AALTCI. The organization maintains the nation's leading online resource for information pertaining to Long Term Care Insurance and annually helps tens of thousands of consumers seeking information on the topic.
The top-10 states ranked by the number of policyholders are:
- New York
Most LTC insurance policies offer benefits for both care in one’s own home as well as adult daycare, assisted living, rehab, memory care and nursing home care. Most LTC specialists say both consumers and policyholders at the time of claim prefer homecare if at all possible.
"The vast majority of individuals who purchase Long Term Care Insurance protection want the ability to receive care in their own home and this protection makes that possible," said Slome.
Many consumers obtain partnership plans which provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The New York State Partnership for Long Term Care publishes an online list of states which have partnership LTC plans available and the states which offer reciprocity in the event a consumer were to move to another state. Illinois is the most recent state to adopt the federal/state partnership program which went into effect when President George W. Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
Here is the link from the New York State: http://www.nyspltc.org/reciprocitymap.htm
Consumers have a number of affordable options available today. In additional to traditional plans, linked or so-called “hybrid” policies provide death benefits. Many are single premium plans however some can be paid on an annual basis as well. Short-term plans are also available which in many situations easier to qualify for and offer affordable benefits for a wider age range.
“Insurance agents are selling more short-term care insurance to seniors to fill gaps in Medicare and as a Long Term Care planning alternative when cost, age or health is an issue,” Slome explained.
While most experts agree that LTC planning should happen well before retirement, options are available to those who may have waited too long or were turned down for coverage from a traditional plan.
Slome says consumers seeking information on Long Term Care Insurance costs and planning options should do so from a designated specialist, a member of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. Slome says to work with LTC specialists that can prove they've helped at least 100 consumers get a good deal on Long Term Care insurance.
"There are agents who have insured 250 to 500 individuals or more over many years," Slome adds. "A good broker specialist will be appointed to compare policies from at least four or five companies. 'Appointed' means they can actually sell the particular policy, because it's rare one will favor coverage from a company they cannot sell to you."