Long-term care insurance prices are up

Shopping for a long-term care insurance policy? It's going to cost you more. According to the 2012 National Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index published by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, prices for policies currently being offered are between 6 percent and 17 percent higher than comparable coverage a year ago. 

The Association annually analyzes what consumers will pay for the most popular policies offered by 10 leading long term care insurance policies. The study found that the average cost for a 55-year-old single individual who qualified for preferred health discounts is $1,720 for between $165,000 and $200,000 of current coverage.  In 2011, the same coverage would have cost an average of $1,480 annually.

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Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.
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As companies adjust to higher claims rates and longer life expectancies, premiums will increase to align with increasing healthcare costs. There are a number of ways to keep your premiums affordable when buying a policy.

One of the top long term care insurance providers recently released their claims data showing that the majority of long term care claims, about 85%, last less than 5 years. Based on those facts, we typically recommend a basic 5 year long term care insurance policy that provides a way to hedge against the majority of the risk and still keep your premiums down.
Be sure to work with an independent agent who works with multiple companies. You can compare the top companies at http://www.ltctree.com


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