Some 264,000 individuals were receiving long-term-care insurance benefit payments as of December 31, 2012, according to a report from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.
"Insurers paid $6.6 billion in benefits last year to individuals needing care at home, in assisted living communities, as well as in skilled nursing facilities," explains Jesse Slome, director of the AALTCI. "At a time when so much is written about rate increases and changing markets, there is no more important story to tell than the fact that the nation's long-term care insurers pay claims, and lots of them."
According to the association, leading causes for LTCI claims include Alzheimer's disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer. Female policyholders account for roughly two-thirds of all LTCI claims and benefit dollars paid by the industry. Care received in the home accounts for half of all newly opened individual insurance claims, AALTCI reports. "People associate long term care with nursing-home care, but insurance actually enables many people to remain at home when care is needed," Slome adds.
Eight million Americans currently have some form of LTCI. "More people recognize the value of this protection, which does so much more than just pay for qualifying care," explains Bill Jones, president of The MedAmerica Companies, a family of LTCI carriers. "Long-term care insurance provides choice and control, protects retirements and lifestyles, and allows loved ones to care about you rather than being forced to care for you. You can’t put a price on that kind of value."
The AALTCI is a national trade organization established in 1998 to create awareness of the importance of planning for long-term care. For further information, contact Slome at 818-597-3227 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ayo Mseka