The average lifespan of a woman is known to be significantly longer than that of a man. For that reason, for the first time in the United States, a lot of long term care insurance companies are seeking to make women pay higher premium prices to help to compensate for the higher costs that their longer lifespan is going to include. Having pricing that is more gender-specific has been a topic that has been discussed for some time over the past few years. As long term care insurance providers are seeking to ensure that they will be able to keep up with the costs of providing coverage, the next generation of coverage is being created with rates for women that will be 20 to 40 percent higher than what is available for men.
Carriers have been examining the claims statistics and trying to adjust their pricing and products so that they would be able to address the long term care costs and the need for policies. Industry statistics have shown that women have accounted for two thirds of new claims in 2011. These pricing changes are reflective of that information, according to the companies. Products that use gender as a pricing factor are stated to be released fairly soon. The changes in pricing will impact only new policies and not those that are already in existence or those that have been written before the changes ever went into effect.
The new pricing change is only one of the elements of changes that is found in a large reform of the long term care insurance industry overall. Over the last five years, the industry has seen a considerable amount of change. Last year, it had a significant amount of product changes and underwriting changes in a goal to try to make these policies better for those who are seeking coverage. As a result, even though it may seem like the current reform is going to bring about a large amount of change, nothing has really changed that much in the industry. There are many experts who are acknowledging that pricing changes are going to be difficult for those who are going to struggle to meet the costs -- however, most policyholders have nothing to worry about and they won’t lose their coverage. If the cost becomes too difficult for someone to afford, there are ways to contact the insurance company and figure out options that would make the policy more affordable.
In the long run, having pricing focus more on gender may be helpful. Insurance companies may start making policies that specifically address the needs of women, providing them with longer benefit periods and the right amount of coverage that would be able to cover their lifespan. Previously, when couples have signed up for long term care insurance coverage, they have had to decide whether the male or female gets the longer period of coverage. Based on female lifespan, longer coverage cycles have been proven to be more suitable and provide the adequate amount of coverage for their care.