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LTCI Buyers Are Younger
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About 400,000 people bought long-term-care insurance in 2008, according to a recent annual report from the American Association
for Long-Term Care Insurance. Most (84 percent) individual buyers were
under the age of 65, and 76 percent bought LTCI for a specific number of
years to cut costs.
The association analyzed data on 215,000 buyers of individual LTCI,
and its research shows that about 8. 2 million Americans have LTCI.
“Individuals continue to purchase protection at younger ages,” says
Jesse Slome, the association’s executive director. In 2008, 53 percent of
individual buyers were 55-64, compared to 50 percent in 2007. Another
24 percent were 45-54 in 2008. “The age of buyers keeps dropping as
consumers—especially Baby Boomers—understand the cost-saving benefits of locking in good health discounts and ways to make protection more
affordable,” Slome says. In 2000, the average age of LTCI buyers was 67.
About three-fourths (76 percent) of buyers in 2008 opted for coverage for five years or less, compared to 71 percent in 2007. “The most
expensive long-term-care insurance policy is one with an unlimited benefit
period,” Slome says. “Consumers are right-sizing their protection, taking
into account available savings and retirement income. This cost-sharing
approach can reduce the cost of protection by 30 percent or more.”
Average premiums paid in 2008 were $1,650 for ages 35-44, $1,900
for ages 45-54, $2,150 for ages 55-64 and $3,350 for ages 65 and
older, according to the association.
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Shift in Employee Benefits
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A new study, A Subtle Shift: Examining Employee Benefits in the Midst of Economic Uncertainty, can
provide key information for group insurance carriers,
health-care companies and retirement-plan administrators facing the next
open enrollment season, according to LIMRA, which conducted the study.
The report shows that:
■ Employers have not dropped group insurance, health care or retirement
benefits yet partly because the most severe economic turbulence hit
last fall while open enrollments were in progress.
■ Most employers aren’t planning to drop benefits in the next year, but
they’re not adding benefits either.
■ Unless the economy improves, employers are likely to make drastic cuts
to their benefit offerings.
LIMRA plans to follow up with employers later this year. For more information, go to