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The Increasing Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance

Roughly 105,000 New York State long-term care insurance policyholders will see an October increase of as much as 60 percent on their annual premiums.

In April, New York State insurance regulators approved increases on long-term care policies sought by Genworth, MetLife, and First Unum. Increases of 48 to 60 percent were generally approved, but companies were often seeking hikes as high as 80 or 85 percent.

The “higher severity of new claims” is driving the need to increase premiums and reduce benefits. Policyholders may even expect another increase in three years when companies are allowed to ask again. In the meantime, some customers may drop their policies or accept reduced inflation protection or benefits reductions to maintain coverage.

Genworth has obtained approvals this year for rate increases on certain policies in 17 states, and in June a smaller round of increases (5 to 21 percent) was also approved in New  York on thousands more MetLife and other policies.

Source: The New York Times. Managing the Costs of Long-Term Care Insurance