Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Long Term Care Insurance Cost: What People Really Pay

How much did Americans pay for long-term care insurance in 2008? What the average age of buyers? At what ages did long-term care insurance policyholders begin their claims?

Each year the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance publishes an annual industry Sourcebook that is packed with the best facts and figures we can obtain. Some comes from independent research conducted by the Association, others from studies. Here are some findings that will be included.

Let me begin with a stated opinion. I dislike industry averages. Reporters like them and they use them regularly. But, without context, averages are meaningless. If I told you you couldn't control the temperature of the water in your shower, but that the average would be a balmy 80 degrees ... how would you feel if one minute it was 100 and the next it was 60. You get the picture.

The very same is true when it comes to long-term care insurance. For years, articles and experts talk about the average amount people pay for long-term care insurance. But, half of those who buy pay less than the average (they didn't get inferior protection) ... and half paid more (they didn't get ripped off). Okay, for those addicted to statistics, the average paid for individual long-term care insurance in 2008 will likely be about $1,900. Hope you are happy.

But for those who really want a more relevant perspective, new data that is reported in the Association's 2009 LTC Insurance Sourcebook, sheds more meaningful light. The data breaks down the range of premiums paid into age bands, showing the high and the low amount paid, as well as the mean.

Here are the findings for select age bands (2008 annual premiums paid by buyers in New York State):
Between ages 45-49 the low was $1,008 and the high was $6,445
Between ages 50-54 the low was $989 and the high was $6,407
Between ages 55-59 the low was $844 and the high was $6,939
between ages 60-64 the low was $1,125 and the high was $7,413
Between ages 65-69 the low was $1,883 and the high was $9,496

All information published in the Sourcebook or on this blog may be utilized with credit to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Are any statistics available that use median numbers? Averages sometimes are not very meaningful. Median numbers can have more relevance because they show the mid-point number and are not skewed by unusually high or low numbers in the sample the way averages can be. Thanks for your hard work for our industry.


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