Higher premium prices for women will be one of the changes introduced for long-term-care health policies as the market continues to evolve, says Kellan Finley, managing director of Insurance Decisions, an insurance resource for registered investment and independent advisors based in New York City.
Gender pricing is evolving because women live longer than men in general. Also, premium prices will remain high but will be more stable than they have been in recent years, Finley predicted during a webinar on health insurance sponsored by ByAllAccounts on Wednesday.
Some companies already have announced higher costs for women at the same time some are eliminating coverage for informal home care givers. For 55-year-olds, the average cost for a male purchasing $164,000 of long-term-care insurance protection is $925 a year, compared with $1,225 for a woman, according to the American Association of Long Term Care Insurance 2014 price index.
Because of the changing nature of the market, advisors need to work with someone who is an expert in insurance in order to present their clients with the best options, Finley says. They have to be comfortable starting the conversation about long-term-care needs.
Advisors need to be aware of the many options now available. Instead of traditional long-term-care policies, many consumers are now opting for life insurance with critical care or long-term-care riders or straight cash policies that pay cash when needed instead of reimbursing for long-term-care costs.
“Be careful if a client wants to replace a long-term-care policy to try to reduce expenses,” she says. “Many traditional policies are no longer available. A client may want to consider reducing benefits to cut costs rather than trying to replace a policy.”