But not only are long-term-care insurance rates increasing drastically, the cost of long-term care itself is skyrocketing, to several thousand dollars a month in many instances. Insurance companies have responded with life insurance policies or annuity policies with long-term care as a rider and an alternative to a death benefit if it is needed before the policyholder dies.

"We have been dealing with these policies for about a year now," says Larry Rosenthal, a CFP licensee and the president of Financial Planning Services in Manassas, Va. "We are very comfortable with it as an alternative to traditional long-term care."

The need for the insurance and the possibility of alternatives "at least gets an interesting conversation started with your clients," he says.

Rosenthal says a $400,000 life insurance policy that could pay $8,000 a month in long-term-care insurance benefits would cost a 55-year-old person around $3,000 to $5,000 a year. He is not a fan of paying for a single premium life insurance policy.

It can become prohibitively expensive for a person to buy long-term care insurance by the time the person is in his mid to late 70s, Rosenthal says. Adding a long-term care provision to a life insurance policy adds to the cost but is still less expensive than buying two policies, life and long-term care.

If the owner adds a long-term-care rider to the policy, the policy will pay monthly benefits if the person is meets certain qualifications, such as not being able to perform two of the basic functions of independent living, says Bob Gertie, owner of Advisor Insurance Resource, based in Parker, Colo., which deals with all types of insurance and 60 different insurance companies on behalf of advisors.

The drawback for a single premium policy is that the person has to have the money to put down to buy the life insurance or annuity policy, and that can be expensive.

Gertie explains by using an example. He says a couple from California, both age 52, could purchase a universal life policy that provides $93,600 in death benefits each, or $187,200 for both, for a combined single premium of $141,365.

The catch is that the couple has to be wealthy enough to be able to use $141,000 from their savings or from an investment that they will not need for retirement income in a few years.

Most life insurance policies with a long-term-care rider work like traditional long-term-care insurance and kick in when the person cannot perform a certain amount of the functions for daily care.