Is it worth considering?

Age 50-60 has traditionally been the sweet spot for reviewing long-term care insurance options. New research is even indicating that the zone could be shifting downward to 45-55 as the LTC landscape continues to change and actuaries get a better handle on appropriate pricing to minimize the need for premium hikes. Waiting too long to purchase this type of policy is akin to buying home insurance as the house burns down. Premiums exponentially increase, and the threat of having an unexpected health crisis may remove your preferred health discount, if not disqualify you entirely.

I find this matter particularly important for women.

  1. Women often find themselves in the role of caregiver for a spouse or parent. Caregiving can put them at a disadvantage professionally, socially, emotionally and/or physically. The reasoning behind taking on the responsibility at all is a personal choice; however, the reasoning for taking on an unreasonable workload seems to be driven by finances. The ability to tap into something like a LTC policy allows the caregiver to delegate some of the responsibility to make the role more manageable and enjoyable.
  2. When purchasing a policy for yourself (as a woman), you’ll quickly learn that it’s more affordable to buy as a couple. I’ve personally seen this affect 5 groups of women: widows, divorcees, same-sex partners, older spouses, and spouses with health issues. In all scenarios, this meant the woman had to apply as individuals. LTC is private insurance, meaning companies can discriminate against gender. Recently I requested a sample quote from Meredith Pensack, CLTC for a 55-year-old single female vs. a married heterosexual couple. The cost for the single female was about $3,200/year. The cost for the couple was $4,200/year, with the female’s portion of the quote dropping to $2,600.  As you can see, financially it’s less expensive to purchase insurance as a female alongside your spouse AND it’s only marginally more expensive for both spouses to be insured which greatly increases the family’s derived value from the policy. Therefore, think about your situation and consider whether now is the time to review your options.

Even if it’s not something you ultimately purchase, give yourself the opportunity to make that decision rather than having it made for you.