In the past year it has been shown that policy hikes for women in long-term care insurance policies has increased by upwards of 37%. This was a late 2011 estimate that has only gone up by 3 to 5% each year since the estimate was made. This is part of what is being called gender distinct pricing. It is a new strategy that certain insurance companies are putting into their policies that is placed on single women. This has actually raised the rates for single women in long-term care insurance policy sales by 40%.
It may be a first impression that this gender distinct pricing is appalling and should be condemned. However, in 2013 Genworth Financial which is the nation's largest long-term care insurance company was given praise for the raising of rates for single women. This is what brought the most attention to the fact that women are facing a large long-term care insurance increase and policy hike. The belief is that women who will need their long-term care insurance policies will by and large be single by the time they need it. They will also be advanced age and will increase their insurance cost upwards of 25 to 30% more due to their single status an advanced age.
The main reasons that insurance companies are raising the rates for women have been clear for decades however only been put into place recently. One of the main reasons is based on the fact that women outlive men by at least five years. This means that more women will be holding those policies and cashing in on the long-term care insurance policies. This is why the amount is raised for women since they will be the largest population of holding policies.
Another reason is due to the fact that women by the age of 75 are typically widowed. 7/10 women have been shown to be widowed by the age of 75. If they are not widowed they are divorced or have never been married. 40% of these individuals live alone which means they will have no one caring for them. If a long-term care insurance issue ensues then this individual will not be using the less expensive home health options but will be utilizing the more expensive retirement community and assisted living options which will cost more from the insurance policy.
Another reason that has been cited for the rise in rates for women in long-term care insurance issues is due to the fact that women who live past the age of 65 may experience an average of two or more years of disability requiring long-term care assistance prior to the end of life. This long-term care assistance can be costly especially considering the woman's age and the types of issues that plague women toward the end of life. Cancer, Alzheimer's and other issues are the most common and also the most costly. This means that the policy is almost guaranteed to be cashed in with the insurance company having to pay out. In order to offset costs, insurance companies are claiming that by raising the rates on women they are able to offset the cost and maintain the policies for the women who have obtained them.
Regardless of the reasons behind the insurance companies raising rates for women in particular, the end result has been a debate and confusion amongst women and women's organizations. There is a drive to have this insurance policy reversed, however it does not seem to be on the horizon.