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2011 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index Announced

A 55-year-old individual can expect to pay $1,480 annually for $169,000 in current benefits, which would grow to $354,000 of coverage by age 80, according to the 2011 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group.

A 55-year-old couple purchasing long-term care insurance protection can expect to pay $2,350 a per year (combined) for about $338,000 of current benefits, which would grow to about $800,000 of combined coverage for the couple when they turn age 80. If the 55-year-old couple did not qualify for preferred health discounts, but rather for standard rates as a result of having one or more health issues, their cost would increase by $325 annually.

The study found that rates for comparable coverage from leading insurers could vary by between 41 and 48 percent.

According to Association research, three-fourths (78 percent) of long-term care insurance policies are bought by couples where either both or just one spouse purchases coverage. The average age for individual purchasers is 57, with some 76.3 percent of purchases made between ages 45 and 64 according to the Association’s research.

The 2011 Price Index analyzed costs for couples at ages 55, 60 and 65. In addition, for the first time, the analysis included a 3 percent compound inflation growth factor versus the 5 percent formula that has been used in prior studies. “More purchasers are opting for this formula which significantly reduces the cost of coverage and can be quite adequate in terms of future benefits,” said Jesse Slome, the association’s executive director. The Price Index also looked at rates for policies including the newer Shared Care option whereby two policyholders can each access a combined pool of benefits.