Lewis & Ellis Inc.

The average age of people purchasing long-term care insurance policies is dropping

Employee Benefits
by Heather Robinson
More young people taking on long-term care insurance policies
More young people taking on long-term care insurance policies

With many consumers more concerned about their finances than past generations, a larger number are securing insurance policies designed to help keep their costs low in the event they require long-term care at some point.

The average age of people buying asset-based long-term care insurance is decreasing these days, according to data from the trade organization the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). More than half of new male buyers last year - 56 percent - were 64 years old or younger, while 53.5 percent of female buyers were also below age 64. That's up from 53.5 percent of males and 50 percent of females in the previous year.

In general, it's believed that this growing number of slightly younger consumers is coming into the market because more insurance companies and financial advisors are steering them toward linked benefit products. Additionally, this surge is also likely because there is greater emphasis to attract younger buyers, the report said.

Jesse Slome, the executive director of the AALTCI, believes that average age for enrollees will continue to drop appreciably over the next several years as awareness and marketing of flexible premium policies grows.

Interestingly, the vast majority of people buying these types of plans last year were women, the report said. In all, 68.5 percent of long-term care insurance sales last year came from women, compared with slightly less than one-third for men.

The need for long-term care insurance may be of particular importance in the coming years as a larger number of baby boomers approach retirement age. Tens of thousands of boomers are now turning 65 every day and many may be experiencing significant financial shortfalls as a result of having to dip into their savings during the recession, or simply the value those funds may have lost in that time.

As such, insurance companies may want to consider the ways in which they may help boomers to purchase long-term care products as a means of keeping their out-of-pocket costs much lower when the need for this type of care arises.



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