With only about 8 million policy holders nationwide, long-term care insurance is an often overlooked product for investors readying for retirement. Though this complex product has undergone a lot of change in the past few years, as healthcare costs continue to rise and peoples’ lifespans lengthen, long-term care insurance will need to be a par]t of more investors’ planning. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of individuals aged 65 and older can expect to need long-term care in their lives. With the average cost for a private room in a nursing home now clocking in at roughly $92,000 per year, unexpected long-term care can have a significant impact on one’s financial picture. Many brokerage firms offer this product through partnered carriers to help their clients prepare for the later stages in life. In this month’s Broker Monitor Report, we examine the long-term care offerings of coverage group firms as well as online information provided on this subject.
Since we last covered this topic in November 2011, the long-term care insurance industry has significantly changed. While all of the firms in our coverage group that offered products in 2011 continue to offer them now, many have changed the insurance providers through which policies are provided. Additionally, many firms now highlight hybrid policies, which combine long-term care products with general life insurance policies. Online information for long-term care insurance has improved since our last review, with almost all firms that offer products including related information on their websites. Some material offered, however, is outdated, broad and unspecific. Firms must continue to improve and update their content so that clients can stay abreast of this issue.