You know I have long recommended that every household look into obtaining long-term care insurance (LTCi). Given our increasingly long life spans and the fast rising cost of health care, an LTCi policy can be the linchpin of a secure retirement.
And it is doubly important for women to consider. According to the Society of Actuaries, a woman alive at age 65 has a one-in-three chance of still being alive at age 90. And if that 65-year-old woman happens to be in very good health the odds of being alive at 90 rise to more than 40%. In other words, there’s a good chance you could live a very long life.
While I want all women to look into LTCi, I can’t overemphasize how vital I think it is for single women to consider. My go-to LTCi pro, Phyllis Shelton says now is a smart time for any single woman to consider purchasing coverage.
Why Women Should Scope Out LTCi ASAP
Because women tend to live longer than men, most insurance companies that sell LTC policies now charge more for women to get coverage than men. But Phyllis notes that two insurance companies-Massachusetts Mutual and New York Life-are still selling policies that do not charge a higher premium for women. (In LTCi speak they don’t sell gender-rated policies.) That can be a big savings for single women.
Both Massachusetts Mutual and New York Life also are still offering a type of policy I think many of you may be interested in: if you eventually want or need to move to an assisted living facility, the LTCi policy can be used to pay for your costs. That can make it possible to afford a top-of-the-line assisted living facility.
But neither insurer is going to keep offering these great features for long, which is why I want all single women 45 and up to tackle whether LTCi makes sense for them right now.
Another reason to consider purchasing a policy now is that Phyllis is concerned that insurers are increasingly making it hard to afford a policy with a 5% compound inflation adjustment, with 3% becoming more the norm. That could be a big deal, as we all know that health care costs have been rising at a much higher rate than the general inflation rate. These two policies still offer an affordable 5% compound inflation benefit.
If you’re interested in exploring whether an LTCi policy makes sense for you, complete Phyllis’ short LTCi Questionnaire and she can help you understand your options.
*UPDATE-June 2016: Read this important update on Long-Tern Care Insurance for Women.*