February 21, 2020

Your Long-Term Care Insurance Rate Spiked. Now What?

Mr. Kitces suggests considering the cuts in a certain order. If your policy pays benefits for more than five years, consider shaving that back first, since few people need it that long, he said.

If you still want to reduce your premium, your choice could depend on your age. If you’re in your 70s or 80s — or have held the policy for a while and have already seen benefits grow — consider reducing the inflation rate. If you’re in your 50s or 60s, you might be better off reducing your daily benefit rate, particularly if that amount is higher than the typical cost of care in your area, and letting it grow with inflation.

Your insurer might be able to offer other solutions if you ask. “You can call and sometimes they will be flexible with giving you other options that were not in the package sent in the mail,” said Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a trade group.

If you simply cannot afford to pay any longer, you might not have to walk away with nothing. You may be able to convert your old policy to a new one that is worth the amount of premiums you already paid.

Ms. Burns, from the advocacy organization, said she worried that some insurers could steer people to this option because it reduces their liability. That’s why she encourages people to seek help when re-evaluating your policy. She suggests contacting a counselor through your state’s health insurance assistance program.

The lingering effects of the industry’s early miscalculations have made some policyholders — including Ms. Herzog — worried about their insurers’ long-term viability. (Genworth, which agreed in 2016 to sell itself to the investment firm China Oceanwide, said carriers were required to set aside a certain level of assets to support their ability to pay claims.)

“We’ve had more companies get out of business than are in it, and they are still paying legitimate claims,” said Brian Gordon, president of MAGA Long Term Care Planning, “We are still very comfortable even though some of them are not writing new policies.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/your-money/long-term-care-insurance-prices.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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