Long term care insurance claims top $10 billion in 2018

A record $10.3 billion in claims was paid last year by the nation’s long-term care insurance companies, according to new data from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Benefits were paid on more than 303,000 policies.

“The industry passed the $10 billion mark for the first time,” says Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national advocacy organization. According to AALTCI, in 2017, total claims amounted to $9.2 billion paid to some 295,000 individuals. In 2016, total claims amounted to $8.65 billion paid to some 280,000 individuals.

The annual study reports claims paid to policyholders who have a traditional, health-based long-term care insurance policy. “These are the majority of long-term care insurance policies held by over 7 million Americans. Traditional long-term care insurance pays when care is needed at home, in assisted living communities or in a skilled nursing home environment,” Slome says.

According to the Association, the actual number of policy claimants who received benefits during the year will exceed the 303,000 number. The Association reports claimants based on a fixed date for consistency.

“The total value of benefits paid is undoubtedly larger because today there are thousands of individuals who own linked benefit life insurance or annuity policies that can also provide LTC benefits,” Slome says. “Some of these may have already started paying LTC claims.”