PORTLAND, Ore. – While long-term care insurance is paid for with money, it is bought with a person’s health. Many consumers are surprised to learn that long-term care insurance is not like health insurance where everyone is accepted. It is more like life insurance where one has to prove their health before buying a policy.
Many carriers changed their medical requirements to qualify for a policy over the past two years.
“2014 was a tough year as we saw an increase in consumers wanting to buy the coverage, but at the same time carriers tightening who they would sell it to,” says Nathan Sanow, executive director of LTC Consumer. “I believe carriers overreacted on their medical requirements and are now loosening their requirements this year. That is great news that more consumers will be able to get this valuable coverage.”
A recent study by LTC Consumer found that the approval rate in 2015 for long-term care insurance has increased by 10% since 2014.
• 66%: Average Placement Rate in 2014
• 72%: Average Placement Rate in 2015
What this means for consumers is that now is a great time to apply for long-term care insurance. While the general requirements to qualify for long-term care insurance are still based on age and health, the chances of getting a policy have improved. As LTC specialists know, the key is to apply with the right carrier, as some carriers will accept a specific health condition while others will not. This makes working with an agent who specializes in long-term care insurance vital, as they know what carriers are most likely to offer a policy for different conditions.
“The insurance carriers are working hard to expand the market to include more low-priced products that are easier to qualify for,” says Sanow. “I think we will see new ways of underwriting using other data sources and innovative products that are more tailored to specific needs like short-term care or home care.”
About LTC Consumer: LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service for information on long-term care insurance, whose website offers education on what long-term care insurance is, when to buy it, and how much it costs – all without having to speak to a commissioned sales agent. Users can choose to be put into contact with a professionally licensed LTC Consumer specialist who can answer questions, help them with the process of evaluating specific policy features and carriers, and assist them in completing an application.