Prices for long-term care insurance policies jumped between 6 and 17 percent in the past year.
A 55-year-old couple purchasing long-term care insurance protection can expect to pay $2700 per year (combined) for about $340,000 of current benefits, according to the 2012 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The same coverage would have cost the couple $2350 in 2011.
The steep rise in price is primarily due to historic low interest rates and yields on fixed-income investments.
The Association annually analyzes what consumers will pay for the most popular policies offered by ten leading long-term care insurance carriers. The study found that the average cost for a 55-year-old single individual who qualified for preferred health discounts is $1720 for between $165,000 and $200,000 of current coverage. In 2011, the same coverage would have cost an average of $1480 annually.
The study suggests that it is more important than ever to shop around for coverage because the range between the lowest-cost and the highest-cost policy has increased compared to the prior years. For the 55-year-old single policy applicant the highest-priced policy cost almost 80 percent more than the lowest-priced policy. For some categories, the difference was as much as 132 percent and no single company always had the lowest or the highest rate.
Consult your estate planning attorney for further information.