Long term care insurance is a corner of the insurance business which is somewhat new, having only appeared around the late 1980s. However, as it has become increasingly popular throughout the past few years, the amount of cost and frustration that it is causing people is beginning to become more visible. Many of the popular and more mainstream insurance companies have stopped selling their new policies and have instead decided to start rising the premium rates for policies that are already existing – an estimate in 2011 revealed that these rates had risen up to 37 percent. In turn, elimination periods are being increased and protection from inflation is beginning to decrease, making it more difficult for many individuals to even be able to afford their policies. However, a change that has recently gotten the most attention is gender-district pricing which essentially raises the rates of long term care by 40 percent for single women.
Set to begin in April, gender-district pricing is essentially occurring because of the cost that women have caused insurers throughout the years, namely that women usually pay less for insurance coverage. Most women, who are generally single by the time they are seniors, cost insurers around $2 out of every $3 that have been paid in benefits. Since women live longer, they are viewed as being disproportionate in terms of being beneficiaries for long term care insurance, because they were paid around $6.6 billion in insurance benefits during the 2011 year alone. It was estimated that the amount rose to over $7 billion for 2012.
Nursing homes are considered to be the most expensive form of long term care – and 7 out of 10 residents are usually women. They are 76 percent of the residents that are found in assisted living care homes and around two thirds of those who receive home care. Most of these costs are not paid for by Medicare, which means these elements are usually paid for by long term care insurers. Medicaid can only be used for payment in nursing homes if the individual in question has completely ran out of money – though if the person is covered by long term insurance care, that means that the insurance policy will pay for these elements instead of Medicaid. Women that live to be age 65 will usually experience at least two years of disability, which means that they will also require assistance. Women who reach the age of 80 will also need three years of assistance as well – though this is estimated and can be longer or shorter depending on the woman’s quality of health at the time.
Because women live longer than men, it means that it’s possible that they require more assistance and medical coverage than men do. Often times, women are single, which means they’re less likely to have a partner around to take care of them, making assisted living or nursing homes the only options.