Many financial advisors have suggested that clients should enroll in a long term care coverage program during their 50s or 60s when their health is still decent so that they can ensure they’ll have coverage in their later years as they age. One of the most affordable options for many people is to get involved with a group plan at work or within an association. There is a 71 percent likelihood that people over the age of 65 will need long term care services within some point of their life. Being able to obtain coverage has become a challenge, however, since the market for long term care insurance has been struggling over the past few years.

Typically when companies have sold policies, they are being level funded. This means that the premiums that are invested in the early years are going to pay for claims that are going to happen in the future. However, in the last decade, all of the assumptions of the insurance underwriters have been significantly wrong. Long term care costs for nursing home care and health aides have been rising at a 4.5 percent annual rate, while many of the interest rates have been at a record low. This makes it almost impossible for them to be able to generate enough growth that would be able to cover all of the premiums that have been invested in the bond market over the past few years.

Individual plan premiums can start at around $2000 a year for healthy individuals in their 50s, based on their benefit levels. Many policies can cap lifetime benefits at three, five, or ten years of coverage. Most plans are priced based on the cost levels of daily life; this can range from 50 dollars a day to help cover household chores -- to 200 dollars a day for handling nursing home care. Financial advisors are saying that varying the combination on the level of coverage and their terms can help to bring the costs down.

Women should highly consider enrolling for coverage before retirement age. This is because they face higher rates under the new long term care standards for insurance underwriters. Women are known to live longer than men. They are the predominant users of the long term insurance care program. Therefore, it’s becoming more gender specific and the premiums for women are going to be priced far higher than they are for men. Of course, there is always the risk of paying for expensive coverage that may never be used -- but this is hardly a concern for most people who are interested in long term care insurance. There’s a strong chance that most people who have invested in long term care insurance eventually find themselves needing care. In this sense, it’s better to invest in the program and be prepared than to not invest to try to save money and later determine that you truly need long term care coverage.

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