"Until now women, especially women who are single, divorced or widowed have enjoyed a significant price advantage that will be ending soon," explained Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org. In Slome's monthly communication to members of the organization, he urged insurance and financial professionals to take advantage of the limited time opportunity to educate their female clients who are ages 55 to 65.
"Long term care insurance continues to evolve and clearly sex distinct rates for men and women are important to the future profitable growth of the industry," Slome noted. "Women account for two out of every three claim benefit dollars paid out, so clearly they pose a far greater risk and will understand that even paying a little more than men for something they are far more likely to need is important and a good value."
Slome noted that several insurers have reported filing new policies utilizing sex distinct rates. "All insurers will be watching and those who resist will find themselves underpricing the market a practice that should concern all based on past history," Slome said. The executive fielded questions from Association members regarding the transformation. "One of the concerns is that sales made to women now could be at greater risk of future rate increases," Slome said. "I don't see this as a realistic concern unless the insurer filed sex distinct classes of policies. I believe this is an opportunity for women to plan and take advantage of the disappearing price advantage."
The author of The Woman's Guide To Long-Term Care Insurance shared facts agents can share with their female clients. "Women live about five years longer than men," Slome explained. "When you live a long life, the risk of needing costly long term care increases." Women over 65 make up two-thirds of nursing home residents and are far more likely than men to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
According to Association research single women are paid 41 percent of claim benefits with married women receiving 25 percent. "The long term care insurance industry paid out $6.6 billion in 2011 and the amount keeps growing as claim costs rise and the block of sold policies matures," Slome adds.
The Association executive urged members and all insurance professionals to act now to communicate the important change to their female clientele. While the rates for all women will be affected, I believe it is especially important to educate the market segment I refer to as 'women alone' said Slome. "There are millions of women between the ages of 55 and 65 who can use this as the opportunity to evaluate whether long term care insurance is appropriate for them," Slome concludes. "The window of opportunity to take advantage of unisex pricing is closing. The time to act is now."
Established in 1998 as a non-profit trade group, the Los Angeles, California-based American Association for Long Term Care Insurance advocates for the importance of planning for long term care and supports insurance and financial professionals who market LTC insurance. To learn more about long term care insurance costs http://www.aaltci.org/